Bringing Our Kids To Masajid

muslim-kidsIt is a common knowledge in Japan that most of the Muslim kids whose father or mother was born in a foreign country, are not so much attracted to the religion of their parents, Islam,  and, thus do not visit local mosques to get advice on religious affairs and other social issues.  Rather, they feel more comfortable being in the company of other non-Muslim kids in their communities. How can we bring them back to the folder of their Masajid and thus help the  Muslims become a truly vibrant community in the country?

The Muslim community in Japan is,  seemingly facing two major challenges in this regard? First, how to outshine the present-day allures of modern life in the country which our kids are experiencing on  day-to-day basis? Second, how to create awareness among the Muslim parents in the country about the gravity of the situation?

Muslims in other non-Muslim countries are also facing the same problem.  Now, we, as adults, have to take corrective measures to reverse the trends and bring our kids, the future of Islam, back to Masajid, the original center of religious, and social centers of our communities.

We need to create an conducive environment in our Masajid for people of all ages to feel at home at Masjid instead of keep themselves away from them. Japanese schools provide books and other interesting material to their kids so that they feel pleasure in going to the schools and thus spend lot of time in the school premises.

We, the Muslim adults can start making conscious efforts to collect Islamic books and other reading material for kids of all ages from around the world.so that they are attracted to the religion of their forefathers and thus try to get more and more information about it by reading these books.

One other step we could take to make our Masajid, a place of attraction is to provide small refreshment and gifts to kids on regular basis so that they start coming to these mosques. We could also arrange social gatherings and other events especially tailored to the kids needs so that they are more attracted to Islam.

One could also organize Quran recitation events so they they prepare for the competition and thus feel pride after participating in this kinds of events. We could also distribute prizes and other gifts on various occasions such as Eid, ul Fitr, Eid ul Adha.

Help older kids play leading roles in any events related to kids so that they start considering themselves a part of a larger Muslim community and feel proud of their personal and leadership achievements. We also need to induce parents to visit the mosque regularly and educate them why they need to bring their kids to the Masjid.

Bring children to the Masjid in a non-threatening way so that when the time comes, they could make the masajid even better places for their own kids.

Monthly Tarbiyat Program To Be Held At Gyotoku Masjid, Chiba

hira-masjid

Keeping in view the long tradition of helping its members become better Muslims and better human beings,  Islamic Circle of Japan at Hira Masjid, Chiba is going to hold an overnight Tarbiyat program starting from December 22, Saturday evening which will last till  the Magrib prayer on December 23,  Sunday.  Various educational programs and other social activities will be held on the occasion.

The organizers of the monthly Tarbiyat (Spiritual education ) program have urged all the Japanese speaking Muslims to attend the event。 Further details of the progrtam can be viewed on the ICOJ website.

How To Perform Hajj RitualsThe Best Way

hajjThe other day, I just bumped into a wonderful presentation on performing Hajj rituals while browsing through the Internet. It is such a wonderful and comprehensive presentation covering almost every single aspect of how to perform Hajj and all its rituals as prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The PowerPoint presentation was originally uploaded on slideshare.net. However, due to some technical issues, I could not locate it there. Now,, you could see the presentation on the following website.

http://www.icoj.org/

Quran Competition For Children To Be Held in Tokyo

quran-competitionJapan Islamic Trust (JIT) will hold its 13th Annual Quran Recitation Competition at Arabic Islamic Institute near Roppongi, Tokyo on  Monday December 31, 2012  for children  as per program below:

Date  :   December 31, 2012 ( Monday )
Time   :   After Asr  Prayer (2:15 PM)~

Organized  by:   Japan Islamic Trust

Supported  by:   The Holy Quran Memorization Organization Jeddah

Cooperation by :   The Arabic Islamic Institute, Tokyo

The competition will be held among children in 6 Categories.                   

Level 1 :  Those who have memorized more than 1 Surah

Level 2 :  Those who have memorized more than half Juz

Level 3 :  Those who have memorized more than one Juz

Level 4 :   Those who have memorized more than two Juz

Level 5 :  Those who have memorized more than five Juz

Level 6 :  Those who have memorized Hole Quran Karim

 

Deadline for registration: 29th December, 2012.

Parents having children who could recite the Quran should register with the japan Islamic Trust (JIT) via email or Fax.:

Email: msjd.otsuka@gmail.com    Fax: 03-5950-6310

The Program includes Quran recitation competition for children. prize distribution ceremony and Nashid.

All brothers and sisters are requested to participate actively and make the event a success.

First Prize in Level 6 is Return Ticket for Omrah for the Winner and father.

The organizing committee of the competition has asked brothers and sisters to donate gifts and prizes and give generous donations for purchasing valuable prizes for the participants.

Do We Need Local Imams in Japanese Mosques?

A growing number of attendees in Japanese mosques were either born in Japan or never got a chance to study either Arabic or Urdu, the two main languages being used in most of the mosques in the country.

With all the different Muslim ethnic groups in Japan from all over the world, both English and Japanese are two unifying languages that could tie the Muslims from various ethnic backgrounds together.

The reasons a Japanese Imam is much better equipped to give sermons, lead in daily prayers and guide the community in religious affairs are quite a few.

Many new converts and not yet Muslims alike, both feel more comfortable with someone who can speak Japanese language and deliver sermons in the language they know well.

Now, people have started realizing that the new generation of local Muslims and the Japanese public in general, do not resonate with foreign-born Imams who do not know much about the local culture and can not speak any other language except the one they were raised in.

Most of the mosques continue to rely on foreign-born imams for their religious knowledge and fluency in Arabic. But they also want Japanese imams who can speak Japanese language like native speakers and serve as competent communicators with an ear for interfaith issues, and engagement with the local media.

However, the fact of the matter is that there are too few Japanese Muslims who are trained to lead regular prayers, deliver sermons and perform other dawah related activities comfortably.

 We, the born-Muslims need to make concerted efforts to encourage and train newly-converted Japanese Muslims to come forward and start participating actively in Dawah activities in the mosques and in their daily lives.

We, the born-Muslims need to make concerted efforts to encourage and train newly-converted Japanese Muslims to come forward and start participating actively in Dawah activities in the mosques and in their daily lives.

The time has come for Muslims in Japan to debate this issue openly and find ways on how we can help Japanese Muslims take leading roles in the local Muslim communities in the country. The future of Islam in Japan are the children and the youth.

Japanese-born Imams are very difficult to find if not impossible.  It will be years before the number Japanese imams becomes large enough to meet the growing demand of the Muslim community.

Some mosques are taking steps to correct the situation by sending newly converted young Japanese Muslims to go to Saudi Arabia and some other Muslim countries and study Arabic and Islamic Studies. However, there is a lot more to do in this regard.

Charity Bazaar Held at Tokyo Masjid

Tokyo Masjid and Yuai International School in Tokyo jointly held their annual `charity bazaar`on Sunday, December 2, 2012. The event  turned out as a display of  rich cultural blend of the Muslim communities living in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.

The event was held in collaboration with various Muslim organizations and mosques from Tokyo and surrounding areas to promote Islam and and Islamic culture of various countries to not yet Muslims. The Charity Bazaar was attended by foreign Muslims living in the  Tokyo Metropolitan area and other Japanese.  Students from Arabic & Islamic Studies department at Keio University provided the logistical support to make the event a success.

The funds raised through the charity bazaar will be used by various mosques operating in the surrounding areas.

Handicrafts from various Muslim countries were displayed at the Yuai International School building adjacent to Tokyo Masjid.

The ‘Muslim Food Court’ was a major feature of the event where food stalls were set up by various Muslim organizations and private individuals that offered a great choice of cuisine from different countries.

The event provided a great opportunity for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to sample the culture of various Muslim countries, taste different foods, buy unusual gifts and crafts from around the world and visit the great Tokyo Masjid which has become an important place of attraction for Tokyoites over the years.

Community Eid Festival: Sunday, November 4, 2012

Japan Islamic Trust (JIT) announced it would arrange a barbecue party at Wakasu Park (camping area), Chiba, on November 4, 2012.  They encourage you to attend and celebrate Eid-ul-Adha *The festival of sacrifice)  with the local Muslim community in the Tokyo and Chiba areas on the day.

The detailed schedule and the participation fee are as follows.
Participation fee: Adult 1300 yen & for couple 2500 yen.
Junior high & elementary students 800 yen for the first one, and more than that 500 yen.
Children between the ages of 3 to 6 years 300 yen for the first child and for the second child 200 yen.

Payment: Transfer to Bank account, or to brother Haroon Qureshi, sister Halimah, or sister Fatimah Sugawara.

<Japan Post Bank>
Account name: Syuukyouhoujin Nihon Islam Bunka Center
Post to Post : Account number : 10090 86537811
Bank to Post : Branch number : 008 (Zerozerohachi) Account number : Futsu 8653781

We accept reservation by e-mail and fax (temporary);The reservation will be considered completed after they receive the paayment.
(Please describe all participants clearly.  Especially, please be sure to fill in name, your child’s grades and your mobile number.)

◎E-Mail : msjd.otsuka@gmail.com
◎Fax : 03-5950-6310
◎Tel : Masjid Otsuka 03-3971-5631,
Br.Haroon(Urdu,Jp,Eng):090-2455-6253 / 090-6529-6253(softbank)

Application final day : Saturday 27th OctoberWe will close it as soon as capacity is full. Please rush !

Transportation: 15 minutes by bus from JR Wakasu Keiyo Line, Shin-Kiba station metropolitan bus, route 357 going to Wakasu camping area and get off at Wakasu camping area terminal.
By car: drive toward public roads Wakasu Seaside Park 4km.

Things To Consider:
* Assembly inside the park at eleven o’clock.
* The bus which goes to Wakasu camping area only one an hour.
* Bring something thick to sit on it.
* Parking lot is small, who will go to the park by their cars go early, please.
* No playing with ball in camping area.
* No playing with fireworks in camping area.
* In case of booking by e-mail, pay as early as you can.
* Can not cancel the reservation after payment.Jazak Kumu Allah Khairan

 

Taking Care Of The New Converts

Living in a non-Muslim society for a relatively long period has provided me an opportunity to try to understand bits and pieces about how new converts to Islam really think about their new lives and what, we,  the born-Muslims or long time Muslims could do to help them ease their transition to their journey of Islam.

To get a feel of what we, the “experienced Muslims” should be doing, let us try to understand first what the new converts probably think or experience about while making a transition to their new lives as Muslims.

  • It is a brave new world for new converts as they change their religion.  They get to meet new people from various countries with differing local cultures.  The converts do not know exactly what is acceptable to the old Muslims and what is not. So, they naturally make mistakes which may seem strange to born-Muslims. As an example, a recent convert wanted to shake hands with the sister of a recently deceased Muslim brother from Senegal
  •  Their friends and families are probably abandoning them as they change their religion.
  • They are experiencing a totally new environment which is different from what they have been experiencing in their before-Islam lives.
  • They do not know what to learn and who to learn from
  • Even after accepting the truth of Islam, they might be second-guessing whether their decision to convert was good enough
  • They are probably experiencing a huge cultural transition while living in their own countries and societies.

Ways to help them make a smooth transition

  • Give them the due respect they truly deserve as they are like a new-born babies who have not yet committed any sins whatsoever.
  • Give them moral and financial support as well  if and when needed
  • Present them only the fundamental beliefs about Islam. Do not go into too much details.  Be sensitive to their cultural biases as they are in a transition stage.
  • Do not push them too hard to do things they are not yet ready for mentally or physically.
  • Do not impose a specific version of Islam which you like the most.  Rather provide just the basics of the Deen where there is no difference of opinion among the mainstream scholars of Islam.
  • Be patient when they make a mistake as their are just trying to learn the new ways of doing things.
  • Be friends with them as their old friends and, maybe, even their close family members have abandoned them. They may have lots of disturbing questions which may sound harsh to you. However, give them advice gently as they may still have some doubts about their decisioon to become Muslims
  • Invite them to your houses or any other events where they could meet other good-natured Muslim brothers and/or sisters.
  • Perhaps, the single most importnat advice I wanted to share with you is not to abandon them once they convert to Islam as it can lead them to go back to their old religion or, at least, start thinking bad about the born-Muslims
  • Be a good example to them as they will form an image of Islam by looking at you. So, be kind to them and do not indulge into activities which you do not want them to be involved as your spouses or friends or acquintances.

I have observed that, especially in Japan,  the born-Muslims welcome new converts for few days but forget about them later on.  It is our duty as born-Muslims to establish good relationship with them, spend time with them, explain the virtues of being Muslims so that they make a smooth transition to Islam.

 

EID-UL-ADHA 1433/2012

 

Eidul Adha, the festival of sacrifice,  is on Friday, Zul Hajj 10, 1433 or October 26, 2012 Inshallah. On behalf of the staff at JapaneseMuslims.Com, we wish a very special Eid Mubarak to all the Muslims living in Japan and abroad.

The Astronomical New Moon is on October 15, 2012 (Monday) at 12:02 UT.  October 17, 2012 (Wednesday) is the 1st day of Dhul Hijjah 1433.  The day of Arafah – the main day of Hajj – is on Thursday, October 25, 2012 and so the Eidul Adha 1433 is on Friday, October 26, 2012.  The Hajj authorities in Makkah have confirmed that the Day of Arafah will be on Thursday, October 25, 2012.

We ask you all to remember all the Muslims in your prayers, especially the Muslims and people of other faiths who are suffering and are in pain due to any reason in any part of the world. Many Muslim countries observe a three or four-day public holiday on the occasion.

The festival of Eid ul- Adha reminds us the Prophet  Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when Allah ordered him to. The Prophet Ibrahim’s total and unconditional obedience to the will of Allah is celebrated by Muslims each year on this occasion.

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