Tag Archives: Giving

Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion:

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Someone that I really respect, love, and care about was in the Hospital. I was really looking forward to seeing them; but, at the time I hadn’t known that they were in the Hospital. I tried calling & texting them. Yet, there was no response, and me being me, I thought that the person was straight-up ignoring me. However, when I did truly come to know of the condition of this person, I immediately began to realize how selfish, self-centered, and how “It’s all about Me”, I had been behaving, which is obviously a huge negative, all around. I’m merely just making the point that oftentimes, more often than not, Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, puts us in positions where we’re tested as to how our behavior will dictate our actions. Unfortunately, I miserably failed this particular test. But, it’s a great lesson to be learned, to really get my act together, to exert more Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion, in the hopes that Allah will in turn exert His (Eternal) Patience, Tolerance, and Compassion upon me, because, I’m in such desperate need of it. I hope that I’m truly able to learn from such an important experience, that I keep the lessons learned from this experience, going forward throughout the rest of my life; and, to the person that I was such a jerk to: I’m truly sorry & for the Pleasure of Allah, please, forgive me…Amen

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Support Muslims Giving Back’s Project #Zakah:

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Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, explains the purpose & reasoning behind az-Zakah, the 3rd-Pillar of Islam & how helpful it is to the general betterment to Humanity as a whole:

Support Muslims Giving Back’s Projects: #Need2Feed & #Warmth!!!

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Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, has a very important message, concerning the importance of helping others in need, drawing from his own personal-background of being in-need himself, at one point in his own life. This noble work, of enhancing the Humanity within others is something that those at Muslims Giving Back take very seriously & so should all of you.

Breast-Cancer Awareness: It’s not just a Women’s-Issue…It’s our Issue!!!

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With the permission of Allah, Muslims Giving Back will be participating, as volunteers, advocates, walkers, at this year’s annual Breast-Cancer Walk in Central Park in New York City.

These are the reasons why Gareth Bryant, National-Spokesperson, Muslims Giving Back, is participating:

1. For every Mother, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Son by her side.

2. For every Daughter, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Father by her side.

3. For every Sister, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Brother by her side.

4. For every Wife, who had Breast-Cancer, who never had a Husband by her side.

There’s one particular fact that people, whom don’t know, have to recognize/accept:

1. Breast-Cancer is like the Female version of Prostate-Cancer for Men: every Woman, within her respective lifetime, if she lives long enough, is going to have to come to terms with the fact that this will in fact impact her life, in some way…it’s one of the leading-causes of deaths among Women, particularly within the United States.

2. Statistically, although not nearly as common, Men have also been documented to have acquired Breast-Cancer; so, none of us, as Men, should ever dare think that this disease is Gyno-Centric, that it only affects Women.
Allah says, “Men are Responsible for (supporting) Women.”. (Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.34)

These (4-types of) Women, that I’ve mentioned previously, are the most-important Women in any Man’s life, and these Women do so much, for us, yet we do very little/if nothing for them…we need to change that & it needs to start by supporting them via supporting Breast-Cancer awareness…Any/all Men, whom are able to make it to this walk, in New York City, must go…and, if you are going, think of your own, personal reasons why you’re participating in the Breast-Cancer Walk, in support of awareness concerning one of the most relevant health-crises effecting the most-important Women in our lives…no exceptions!!!

(Trust me when I tell you) Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the greatest, created-thing that Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe ever created, the greatest person whom was ever given Revelation, the greatest Prophet, he greatest Messenger, the greatest, Son, Father, Brother, Husband, that any Woman could ever want or ask for: if he were alive, today, among us, he would most-definitely attend a walk such as a Breast-Cancer Walk, because that was both his (Prophetic & personal) nature, that’s why Allah sent hm, with the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, to show us how to work, strive, fight, help make the existence/lives of others better, via Community-Service, through service of one’s Fellow-Man.

For more info. about how to support the noble-efforts of Muslims Giving Back, in our efforts to spread Breast-Cancer Awareness, please, visit us online:

http://www.muslimsgivingback.org/

Oxfam is Awesome!!!

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Kristin Davis, popular actress, of the world-wide critically acclaimed T.V. & movie series, “Sex In The City”, very recently did a commercial for Oxfam, an internationally-renown non-profit organization, geared towards establishing food-justice in under-developed countries, particularly. When I had seen this commercial on TV, I immediately told my mom that I had & still do work for this organization. Actually, this is the very first time that I’ve actually seen a commercials in which I actually have a legitimate relationship with, via actually working with/for them. It was such a great feeling that I had seen this commercial, it was really awesome; I had actually felt that the work which I had & still do for Oxfam actually goes a really long way.

Also, to see a celebrity, with such a powerful reach, like Kristin Davis, is very inspiring. She has a great opportunity to encourage, not only fellow celebrities, but, also, regular people, to go above & beyond, for the other, to help Humanity, in any/every capacity possible. I am very proud, as a Muslim, of being a part of an organization, such as Oxfam, which is so ambitious to helping people whom they’ll probably never even meet. As Muslims, we are, thetically, taught that being of good-service to others, regardless of orientation, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, political-allegiance, etc. is a must-do, Islamically. Allah tells us that, “By Time. Verily, Humanity is lost (misguided, spiritually/religiously). Except those who believe (in Allah & his revelation) & do good, encourage one another via truth & encourage one another via patience.”.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.103) This chapter displays, very clearly, that in order to be saved from misguidance, we, as Human beings must first help ourselves, by being obedient to Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, then, by being good-people. And, ensuring that people have food, and good-quality food at that, to eat, and preventing starvation is most definitely one of the best things that someone/anyone can do. Saving lives, preserving life is actually of of the Maqasid/General-Maxims of Shari`ah/Islamic-Law: the Preservation of Life, which Allah makes very clear, as to the great merits of the preservation of life, within the Qur’an, itself.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.32)

Every March, in honor of Women’s-Day, there’s an annual awards ceremony, in New York City, honoring individuals, dedicated to Oxfam & all that it does for the world. Over 20 independent organizations, including an organization which I am a part of, Muslims Giving Back, the Muslim version of City Harvest, in New York City, came together, to celebrate & honor the immense accomplishments of 3 distinguished individuals, whom have dedicated their lives to food-justice…they are the following:

1. Leticia Alanis-

Co-Founder/Executive-Director of La Union in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. La Union is an organization of people of the global south working to advance the socio-economic and socio-cultural rights of communities where they live as well as communities which they’ve left behind, many within the state of Puebla, Mexico…One of these very important rights are access to healthy-food/healthy-food choices. Alanis states, “My goals are to advance social-justice goals, through dialogue and common-action, through my service to the empowerment of those affected by policies, but that rarely have a voice on their creation or implementation and working with those that have decision-making authority, to make systems work better for people.”.

2. Tanya Fields-

Executive-Director of the BLK Project, an organization seeking to address food-justice, public & mental health issues, as they specifically relate to under-served women of color, through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening, and community programming. She has worked with Mothers on the Move’s Environmental Justice Committee, and has served as an Outreach-Coordinator at Sustainable South Bronx, as an advocate for residents. Simultaneously, she is building a media company that seeks to unite women of the African Diaspora, through media, entertainment, and community projects. Recently, after being disinvited to speak at a conference on the food movement, she organized an event on February 16th, 2013, entitled, “Not Just Talk: Food in the South Bronx”. Her vision includes a democratic system that gives power back to communities and promotes sustainability.(http://www.ebony.com/news-views/activist-tanya-fields-on-race-class-and-the-food-justice-movement-406)

3. Winnifred Lee-

A former Co-Leader of Oxfam Action Corps, from 2009-2010, worked on a variety of farms, including: Wassaic Community Farm, along side memebers of the Malcom X Grassroots Movement & others from New York City communities, targeted by racism. As a former member of Oxfam, she had lobbied U.S.-Senators & U.S-Representatives, on Climate-Change, support for small-scale food producers, food-aid, and a global development strategy.

Oxfam is one of those pristine organizations, with an immaculate reputation for getting things done, as well as being very transparent, being able to see for one’s self all the boots-on-the-ground, frontline-work, which Oxfam, its workers, patrons, supporters, advocates, are 100% committed to. So, please, when it comes to Oxfam, give them your unyielding support, anytime/every time that you can.

Gareth Bryant/2013

The Power of Generosity!!!

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Author’s note:

This article has been written by my good-brother, my good-friend, Jonathan Markis, who has invested a lot of his own time & resources, for a cause & movement that I take very seriously, as I, myself, have invested a lot personally to this same exact cause. I am very happy that he has thus chosen to write an article, for my blog, to demonstrate through the power of words, how important what he’s advocating truly is.

I’d like to share with you a little bit I’ve learned about the importance of helping others. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring us to a point in our lives to do things that others may benefit from InshAllah. In this case, I am referring to the importance of donating blood. Did you know that by one person donating, that person can save three lives?

I want to share now 9 reasons why you should donate, if you don’t already:

1. Blood transfusions saves life.

2.There’s no substitute for human blood.

3. Every three seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion.

4. About 60% of the population are eligible to donate blood, yet less than 5% do.

5. You’ll make your community a safer place.

6. Fulfills your desire to “Give back” to the community.

7. You’ll receive a mini physical (blood pressure, temperature, iron level).

8. You’ll learn your blood type.

9. Its safe, simple, and it saves lives.

I hope that these 9 reasons are motivating enough for each and everyone of you to donate, or at least, at the minimum, encourage others to donate. I would like to give some Islamic evidence on the importance of donating blood but the point of giving and receiving InshAllah. The Quran says that to save all humanity (Quran 5:32) And Allah says “Oh no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear (Al-Baqarah, 286), the principal of fiqh states “Necessity makes prohibition lawful” (See Nujaym, Al-Ashbah wa Al-Naza’ir, P. 85)

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) advised the people of Urayna to consume the urine and milk of the camels due to them being affected by the climate of Madina (see Sahih Al-Bakhari, No.23)
I would like to share my story now for the reason I got involved in organizing blood drives I like to call Miracle Comeback. On August 3rd 2009, my two sons Elijah (16 years at the time) and Rasheed (13 years old at the time) were riding their bicycles late at night. This night would change many lives forever. My son Elijah at the intersection of South 16th street and Greenfield avenue decided to take his chances and ride his bicycle thru a changing red light and made it safe to the other side, Rasheed wasn’t so lucky. Rasheed stayed back with his friend Justin, but decided to ride thru the standing red light and didn’t make it to the other side. Rasheed was hit and run over by another Suv. The police report stated my son was in “fatal” accident. I immediately got on the hospital computer and asked my family and Facebook friends to make Dua for my son. Here is my exact email that I sent ..
“Salam, at around 11p.m. on 8-3-09 my son Rasheed who be 13 years old in 2 weeks InshAllah was hit by a truck while on his bicycle and is in serious condition with internal bleeding in his stomach, Sorry just got back from speaking with the surgeons and he is in very serious conditions. One of his kidneys were removed and half his liver from the impact. I am asking all to pray for my son that he survives and  if he does not that he goes to Jennah/Heaven, InshAllah God willing, thanks much”.

Once I got to see my son I was told that he had a very small chance to survive and I was also told, that if he does survive, he wont be the same. My son in total, lost; 1 kidney, ½ his liver, broke his liver, crushed 1 lung and lost 46 pints of blood in surgery. Saying this , my sons Dua’s were answered and my son went home on August 25th,2009 and started school only one week late on September 9th,2009. Today my son is living a totally normal life without any side effects Alhumdulilah. My sons Miracle of life inspired me to have a website created called www.miraclecomeback.com.

On my website you can see the many past updates to the new ones. I’ve organized 8 blood drives so far and will be working on my 9th one soon called ‘Miracle Comeback 9’ and this one will include my son Rasheed. It will be called ‘Giving Back’ as he for the first time will donate InshAllah. Anyone interested in organizing any Blood drives in your city and state? Please contact me at bilalmarkis@yahoo.com if interested. I would post this on my site. Don’t wait till something happens to you or someone you know before you decide its important. JazakAllah, your brother Jonathan Markis.

Jonathan Markis/2013

My thoughts on Yusef Ramelize & his amazing project: “Homeless For One Week”

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Author’s note:
It’s very ironic how in a place like New York City, by far, the wealthiest city on the planet, in Human history, can actually have a significant homeless population. What’s also just as sadly amazing is how so many of us do nothing about it. I mean, sure there’s various organizations & food-banks. But, the real cure to homelessness is through the individual efforts of you & I, regular, everyday, nine-to-five kind of people, who see something within our society that’s a serious problem, and set out to do something about it. Well, fortunately, a very near & dear good Muslim brother of mine has taken on this mighty task, and has been doing something about it, for quite some time. His name, Yusef Ramelize, his efforts, going homeless, for one whole week, to get a serious, authentic sense of how the other half truly lives, in a place like New York City. Every year, during the annual, Islamic, fasting month of Ramadhan, he’s out on the streets, attempting to expose the realities of homelessness, to do his part in helping others whom have been abandoned in many ways, or have gone completely unnoticed by most of us, which is very easy, since many of us get caught in the matrix, of our mundane, nine-to-five lives. However, Mr. Ramelize takes off time from his job, to help expose the need to help people whom he’s never even met, and will probably never meet. With that being said, it is so very important that we support this man’s efforts, because he is truly doing a great thing, for his city, for his country, for his Humanity.

Yusef Ramelize: A great Muslim, a great Human being, with a great mission:

Going above & beyond passionate emotionally soothing talk, of wanting to make a difference, Mr. Ramelize has taken a very honest, pragmatic action, as the Founder and Project Director of the “Homeless For One Week” project, an annual initiative that he had began in 2009, to raise awareness about homelessness in New York City. His plan is to be homeless for one week, every year, during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan, while raising money and awareness about homelessness, through video-blogs and interviews.

His amazing humanitarian project, “Homeless For One Week”:

To Mr. Ramelize, the preparation for this particular project is mostly spiritual. The reason is not to mock the homeless; but, rather, it is an excuse to become closer to Allah, in obedience, via reflection about the other, especially during the month of Ramadhan, when reflection, as well as internal & external purification are typically at an all-time high anyway. This project focuses on reflection of how the other half truly lives & is forced to live. Over the past four years, money has been raised, for various Tri-State area based organizations, like, CAMBA (Church Avenue Merchants Block Association), Coalition for the Homeless, as well as Food Bank for New York City, to help spread awareness about the need to help the homeless.
Every year, the money that he has raised, as a result of his amazing efforts, goes to one, or more different charities, that work exclusively to help end homelessness & hunger. This year, he is raising monies for “Muslims Against Hunger”, based in the Tri-State area. Each year, he does something unique, as well, to really encapsulate the homeless-experience, not to patronize or mock the homeless, but, to rather truly know how it feels to have to go day-to-day, without the simplest luxuries, that so many of us either take completely for granted, waste, or both. For instance, last year, he did his “Homeless For One Week” project, without any footwear. The main reason for this was for him to sacrifice simple things, that so many people take for granted, far too often. This project is essentially geared toward consciousness & gratitude for all that we have & to help inspire others to help those who have less and/or nothing in comparison.

One of the main themes that he wants to face head-on are the very unfair & cruel “Stereotypes of the Homeless”: Lazy, shiftless, unskilled, jaded, poor work-ethic, scam-artists, etc. This year, he’s planning to make more of an effort to interact with homeless persons. Weather plays a very significant part in the effectiveness of this project. People don’t realize how weather affects people, who don’t have proper access to food, clothing and shelter. And, as Muslims, we owe it to Allah, then to our fellow man to make the lives of others better.

The positive results yielded thus far:

As a result of Mr. Ramelize’s extraordinary work, for this most noble project, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had honored him, with a proclamation, as “Artist and Activist against Homelessness” and was also nominated as NY1 News’ “Queens, NY Person of The Week”, for his charitable spirit and promotion of awareness through his “Homeless For One Week” project. The “Homeless For One Week” project has been featured in the NYDaily News, NY Post, RT News, The Village Voice, ELAN Magazine, Arabnews.com, America.gov and DNAinfo.com.

Yusef Ramelize’s bio:
Currently working as the Production and Creative Manager
of Informa plc, one of the largest publishing companies in the world.
He holds a BFA in Electronic Design and Multimedia from the City College of New York. In his spare time, Ramelize does freelance marketing projects ranging from print ads for pop culture magazines, catalogs to business logos. In addition, Yusef Ramelize also works on various community projects, such as being the Community Outreach Director for CAMP (Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals), and as a Creative Consultant for Elan Online Magazine (A Muslim lifestyle online magazine).

So, in conclusion, if you are at all inspired by the great work, of such a great Human being, then, by all means, please support his noble efforts.

You can help him make a difference, by first visiting his website:

http://www.homelessforoneweek.com