Archive for the 'General' Category

08
Jul
10

Headed to Beantown

https://i1.wp.com/www.celebrateboston.com/images/culture/nicknames/beantown01.jpgFor those of you who are in Boston, I’m going to be giving the Khutbah at the ISB Cultural Center this Friday inshallah.  The masjid is located at 100 Malcolm X Blvd. Boston, MA 02120 and Jummah starts at 1pm.

I’ll be there with Haroon Moghul teaching at the Fawakih Program. More details on that can be found at http://fawakih.com/.  We’re going to be teaching Saturday and Sunday inshallah and Haroon is going to also be giving a lecture at Masjid Yusuf Saturday night. Details on that are below via the Maydan Institute’s blog. (I’ll explain in a later post what Maydan is.)

Join Maydan’s Executive Director Haroon Moghul and Senior Instructor Imam Khalid Latif at Masjid Yusuf on Saturday night, July 10th, 2010. At 8:45p.m., Haroon will be presenting on Muslims and Islamophobia, introducing strategies to engage media, offer alternatives to negative narratives, understand how and why Islamophobia works the way it does and empower Muslim communities with better and more diverse representation. Where: 186 Chestnut Hill A … Read More

via The Maydan Institute

If  you’re in the area and want to meet up let me know.  I should be free Friday all day after Jummah.

On a totally separate topic, I had a follow up interview with CNN on the op-ed post I wrote for them on recognizing Eid Holidays in the NYC Public School system (to read that article click here). You can check out the video by clicking here

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26
Oct
09

Mecca, Mecca, Mecca. My, oh My!

I’ve copied and pasted below an entry from 2005 that was the first one I wrote on my original blog.  (The images are not from the original though)  These were some thoughts that I had before going for the Hajj in 2005, and in a day or two I’ll put up an entry that I had written when I had returned from there.

For those who are interested, the Islamic Center at NYU will be sponsoring an Umrah trip in March of 2010 in conjunction with Dar es-Salaam Travel Agency entitled The MeccOdyssey.    Details of it are at the bottom of the entry.  I would highly recommend to everyone who is even slightly interested in attending to push yourself to do.   The cities of Mecca and Medina are truly unlike any other wAlhamdulillah.

Pre-Hajj Thoughts 2005
It only occurred to me a few hours ago how important and real my journey to Mecca is. When I decided to go for hajj a few months ago, the thought of it all was somewhat intriguing. My mind would sometimes wander here and there, thinking about everything from the kaaba to the masjid of the prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wa salaam, to being able to eat a halal whopper from the burger king next to the haram. But now as I sit on my bed less then twenty four hours away from leaving the United states, my thoughts lie elsewhere.

Today a lot of people who I have been blessed with being close to said good-bye to me. For the next three weeks I will have no communication with them whatsoever. I am leaving behind the emails, the instant messengers, the blackberries, and the text messages. When I put my hand in my pocket it won’t be to silence a vibrating cell phone, beckoning me to answer it by the rhythmic tremors it unleashes upon me until I give in to its whims. When I awake in the morning, my first inclination won’t be to run to my laptop to see what new correspondence I might have received electronically during the course of the night. When I return to my place of rest in the evening from a day out in the world, it wont be in a state of tiredness that disallows the formulation of any coherent thoughts; a state that is further inhibited by an array of broadcasted images spewing notions of violence, hatred, anger and injustice from all over the world. None of this will be with me when I leave from here. What I will take is myself and the advice that has been given to me.

All around me people have been telling me what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. Literally about 200 people have sent me emails with their advice, their insights, but most importantly their requests for du’aas. The idea that their name might be mentioned in the holiest city in the world is an opportunity that they cannot let pass them by. But then the thought enters my mind that who am I to seek anything on their behalf? That it is true that I will be in the city, but what justice can I do to the sanctity that embodies it? That here is the place where Hajar alayhi salaam ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa, ascending to their very summits in hopes that she might find some nourishment for her infant child Ismael alayhi salaam. That here is the place when Ibrahim alayhi salaam, the friend of Allah, built, or rebuilt, the blessed Kaaba along with Ismael Alayhi salaam, many years ago. That this House, the kaaba, throughout time was under the protection of Allah, even when armies marched with elephants against it and the people fled to the hills, their fleeing was done with the understanding that Allah would protect His city, and protect He did. That most importantly in this city some generations late the best of creation, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, salallahu alayhi wa salaam, would be born; that that streets are not just streets, but they are more that that because he walked on them; that the winds are unique in that they carried his blessed words throughout the town to anyone who would hear it; that his blessed forehead prostrated on that same ground that potentially two million hajjis would be prostrating upon in the coming weeks. What then could I possibly offer to such a noble place? In trying to find answer to this question, I was reminded of some words that a close friend and teacher of mine sent to me when I was going to visit Mecca before. Although at that time I was going for umrah, a smaller pilgrimage, his overall message still applies.

“Dear Khalid, Umrah is a great blessing to this Ummah and the Tawfeeq to perform it is indeed a special mercy from Allah Ta’ala, a manifestation of His love for you, for with the open invitation for all here is His guidance for you to actually embark on this noble and virtuous journey to the sacred house of Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala, any invitation to ones home is a symbol of affection and care and remember the nonbelievers are not even allowed therein and of the believers only a privileged few, this is the smaller pilgrimage and pilgrimage is a migration from all else to Allah swt, an act of devotion and a quest of the pious, every prayer there in is multiplied, every Subhaan Allah, every Allahu akbar even to gaze at the holy ka’aba itself is an act of reverence and a measurement of your love for Allah ta’ala.

You may pray and beg for everything and every one and maybe even for me but most of all ask for the victory of Allah for the Ummah of His beloved Muhammad saws, pour your heart out let the heart ache you feel for the rest of this glorious nation find representation in your dua and tears there in the holiest of places, the pain of orphaned children, the hunger of our poor, the bleeding heart of our mothers, the screams of our tortured and the agony of our elders and pious, may almighty Allah change our hearts and the material mind set we have cultivated and the negligence to Salaah and our collective distance from the sacred Sunnah for victory comes from and only with righteousness and verily everything else is temporary and deceiving, may Almighty Allah in His greatest kindness accept and bless you your sacred Umrah.”

From here I start my journey. I’ll be back in a few weeks inshallah and my posts will be more regular then 🙂 I request of all of you who are reading to please keep my in your prayers; that Allah accepts my Hajj and the Hajj of all those who have gone before me, who are going now, and will be going in the future; that He makes things easy for all of those who we are leaving behind and allows us to be together again soon, and that He accepts all of our prayers and secret wishes, as there are no secrets from Him. He is the All-Knowing, the Merciful. Ameen.
_______________________________________

so if you’re interested, the IC is going to Mecca and Medina inshallah.   Details can be found at http://www.icnyu.org/umrah or below.  Please do share with your networks and friends.

**AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON VISA APPROVAL PROCESS FOR THOSE TRAVELING WITHOUT MAHRAM**

We have received many inquiries from individuals wanting to participate in our upcoming Umrah Trip but are concerned about getting visa approval without a mahram.   We are in conversation with the appropriate offices right now to get the necessary approvals and will need to show them a list of registrants at some point soon.  As such, it would be very important for those of you who are interested in attending to register so that we can show those offices that there is a high need for the approval.   In the event that the visa approval is denied, you will be refunded any deposits and subsequent payments that were made. So please do your best to register in a timely fashion as the more people we can show them require this accomodation, the more likely they will be to approve it.

Reigstration information can be found below as well as on our website at http://www.icnyu.org/umrah


ImageJoin the Islamic Center at NYU for its first ever Umrah Trip this Spring!

Over Spring Break 2010, the Islamic Center at New York University will be leading students, alumni, young professionals and Muslims from the U.S., Canada and more, in a one-week religious experience like no other.  This trip is open to all Muslims, regardless of their affiliation with New York University or otherwise.  We’re working with Dar El Salam Travel Agency, a leader in hajj and umrah travel for many years, to ensure that people from all over the United States, Canada and other parts of the world can travel with us.

This one-week package includes all of the following for one low per-person price:

Round-trip flight from New York’s JFK to Jeddah via Dubai on Emirates Airlines.  Depart New York Saturday, March 13, 2010, and Return Sunday, March 21, 2010.

One-Way Airfare from Jeddah to Madinah (or ground transportation based on arrival time) on Sunday, March 14

Three nights accommodation at the four-star Dallah Taibah or four-star Harmony Hotel in Madinah: Classes and organized trips to the Prophet’s Mosque.

Half-day sightseeing trip of the Madinah “Mazarat”: A guided tour of Islam’s most sacred sites.  With learned guides, you’ll experience Islamic history like never before.

One-way Ground Transportation from Madinah to MeccaImage

Three nights accomodation at the four-star Zamzam/Al-Safwa or five-star Hilton Towers in Mecca.  Package will include ‘umrah at the Haram, as well as classes and visits to the sites surrounding Mecca.

Quad Room Price: $1,775.00 per person*
Triple Room Price: $1,820.00 per person*
Double Room Price: $1,950.00 per person
*

Child Rates
Up to 2 years of Age: $250 only
2 – 7 years of age without bed: $1350 no bed
7 – 11 years of age with bed: -$250 from the adult rate
12 years of age and up:  Adult rate

**** Register today by clicking here ****

* These prices are based on travel from JFK, and include all the above services and features.  Other departure options include Toronto, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles and will be an additional $300 per person.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at any time at 212.998.4712 or via email at umrah@icnyu.org.

For more information, please visit http://www.icnyu.org/umrah

10
Oct
09

Real Men Don’t Hit Women

I’ve been traveling a lot in the last few years of my life speaking to different communities both in the United States and abroad.  In at least the last two years of my travels, there hasn’t been a lecture or event that I’ve participated in that hasn’t introduced me to at least one young woman (and usually more) that has been abused in some way during her life and, subsequently, doesn’t know what to do about it.

Rape, molestation, beatings, verbal abuse, emotional distress, the issues continue on end.   In most instances, the hardest part of it all seemingly stems from the young woman being unable to find someone to speak to about it.    And so she will follow suit unknowingly to those who came before her and experienced similar abuses, left to talk only to herself.    Critical questions of why it happened to her in the first place now take on the form of self criticism, and in most instances the young girl will begin to blame herself for everything that has happened.    Why did my husband hit me?  Why did my uncle take advantage of me?  Why did my husband cheat on me?  Why did that boy end up not marrying me after having an intimate relationship with me?  Perhaps it is my fault and I deserve it.

As a Muslim man, I can say its already difficult enough to understand how to be Muslim in the context of the United States.   I think its also important for us to acknowledge that most of us haven’t grown up being taught how to be men.   If you are a man and you are reading this, at no point in time should you ever think its ok to hit a woman.

I spoke at the University of Pennsylvania on the topic of Dealing with Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community a couple of weeks ago.   You can hear some of my thoughts on the subject matter in the videos below.  Please do share with others if you think its worth it.   I’ll write something more in depth in the future.

08
Oct
09

Can’t Take it with you: Photographs of Muslims in America 2002 – 2009

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13
Aug
09

Avari Articulates

My good friend and colleague Haroon Moghul was recently published on Religion Dispatches.  You can check out the article here.  The article reviews Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West
By Christopher Caldwell.

If you enjoy reading the article, Haroon also has a pretty popular blog called Avari.  You can check it out by clicking here

29
Jul
09

Debut

About four years ago, I had started a blog that didn’t last very long. It contained two posts that I might reproduce at some point in the future about my experiences prior to and after going on Hajj, the piligrimage to Mecca, in 2005. That was also around the same time that I had started working as a University Chaplain for NYU and Executive Director of its Islamic Center. At that time I thought I could manage a blog but it ended up getting lost in the mix as I tried to figure out what exactly being a Chaplain meant.

(Heres a video from when I first started out.  For anyone who wants to tell me that I am “healthier” these days, I know that I’ve put on a few pounds.  So thanks. Jerks :))

These days, I am getting ready to start my fifth year working at NYU. I’ve been working for a little more than two years as a Chaplain for the NYPD as well, worked a year at Princeton University, have traveled throughout the country and to other parts of the world, and am still trying to figure out what my life is about. But I have learned a lot, alhamdulillah (Thank God), in these past few years and who I am today is a lot different from who I was when I first started this job.

Being in New York City has its advantages as people from all over the world walk through the doors of our Islamic Center and I get to sit, listen, and talk with almost everyone. Added to that my regular travels I am regularly given an opportunity to see firsthand how different every individual person’s life experiences can be. Each experience has helped me to shape a better understanding of who I am and also in turn helped me to better understand how others end up being who they are. Its those experiences that I want to share with you all.

This blog isn’t going to be about me – its going to be about the people I work with and work for. The great stories I get to hear, the issues that I see people face, the joys of seeing them take on and overcome those issues, the community that I’ve been blessed to be a part of and the various communities that I am even more blessed to see – these are the things that I want to share.

To anyone who might stop by, feel free to leave any thoughts, comments and criticisms. I am still learning how to work all the features out on here 🙂 so I apologize in advance for the sections that are yet to be completed.




Who is doing the thinking


My name is Khalid Latif. I work as the Executive Director and Chaplain for the Islamic Center at New York University as well as a Chaplain for the NYPD, New York City Police Department.

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