I am posting this on behalf of a very close friend of mine, Adnan Zulfiqar. He is doing some very needed work on behalf of the people of Malawi, who are attempting to recover after a spate of devastating floods. Please read and donate if you can.
I hope this message finds you well in your respective places. I am writing to let you know (and solicit your support) for some work we are doing in Malawi (southern Africa) as a result of the recent floods that have devastated half the country. Malawi, as many of you know, is one of the poorest countries in Africa and heavily reliant on their agricultural economy, which has been shattered by these floods. In addition, there are significant fears about various diseases, like cholera, spreading as a result of the standing water.
A group of individuals I am involved with under the title Banja Umodzi (meaning “One Family” in Chichewa, the language spoken in Malawi) is organizing a multi-phase effort to help address some of the needs of Malawians impacted by these floods. Specifically, we will be focusing on the town of Phalombe (and its surrounding areas). We are initially hoping to support 100 families with their basic needs through relief packages we are putting together. These packages will support an entire family for one week. They include both household and food items. The cost of one package is $25. The packages will be delivered directly to Phalombe by our team based in Blantyre. All of your donations will go to relief – Banja Umodzi will cover all administrative costs. Our hope is to provide additional relief over the next month or so as the rainy season concludes. This additional aid will include medicines as well.
The next phase will be rebuilding. We are still working out the details, but our hope is to build 50 homes in the Phalombe area. These homes will contain multiple rooms, be made of concrete and brick and be able to withstand these floods. The construction will be done by local builders in Phalombe with the goal of supporting the local economy as well. We currently approximate that the cost of 1 home for a family of 5 will be $300. Stay tuned for details.
The following is a short video and full-length audio of a talk I delivered at Drexel University with Adnan Zulfiqar on loving the Prophet صلى الله عليه وصلم.
ذكر عبد الله بن بشر أن رجلا قال يا رسول الله إن شرائع الإيمان قد كثرت عليّ فأخبرني بشيء أتشبث به – قال لا يزال لسانك رطبا من ذكر الله – روى في الترمذي
‘Abdullah bin Bushr mentioned that a man said to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم “O Messenger of God, indeed the conduct of faith has become too numerous for me therefore instruct me with something I may cling to”. He said صلى الله عليه وسلم: “Do not stop your tongue from being moist in the remembrance of God.”
The moral collapse we see around is can be daunting at times. This is made even more disenfranchising due to modernity’s inability to confront the golem of its handiwork: the abandonment of moral in virtue. What tool is there for modernity to tackle the consequences of moving “beyond,” to a post-tradition age? I dare say that if modern culture chooses to plunge over the cliff of post-tradition, it will only prove itself being further incapable of diagnosing let alone addressing the fallout from having no moral compass.
It is this area that I believe Muslims have something genuine to offer America: Offer, not supplant. These ideas and more are discussed in the following Chaplain Chat, the last for the Spring 2012 term at the University of Pennsylvania. It has been a real pleasure to have inherited such a great weight and responsibility from the likes of Adnan Zulfiqar and Carolyn Baugh. I pray that God will bless the further endeavors of the MSA and I am extremely grateful for the love and support of UPenn’s MSA, without whom I could not have attempted the task at hand.
The following is a short audio clip of some musings on the passing of an era at the University of Pennsylvania. My good friend Adnan Zilfiqar helped launch the Muslim chaplain position at UPenn as well as raising the standard of quality regarding Muslim life on campus. For this we are all thankfull yet saddened at his departure. We ask Allah to bless his new endeavors. Amin.
The second is the audio from his khutbah, Islam: A Religion That Teaches You To Pause, delivered at the University of Pennsylvania on April 20th, 2012.
The following audio if from our Chaplain Chats talks with guest speaker Adnan Zulficar, the former Muslim Chaplain at UPenn. The talk was delivered on February 28th, 2012, at the University of Pennsylvania.