Conference Makes News Once More

Posted August 1, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: News Coverage

Canceled Islam in America Conference rescheduled to discuss hot-button topics
by Matt VandeBunte | The Grand Rapids Press
Saturday August 01, 2009, 6:12 AM

CASCADE TOWNSHIP — A free primer on Islam that was canceled a year ago now has been re-assembled as a resource for the community to tap.

Partners in a local Islamic publishing house next weekend will host a conference aimed at de-linking the faith from terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and sharing Muslim perspectives on topics including environmentalism and evolution.

The event is geared toward non-Muslims.

“I don’t think many people in West Michigan even come into contact with a real, live Muslim,” said Maaz Qureshi, a native Pakistani who works as a database specialist at Pitney Bowes.


Islam in America Conference

What: A three-day primer on Islam, geared for non-Muslims
When: Friday through Sunday
Where: Holiday Inn & Suites, 5401 28th St. SE
Who: Speakers, including two converts from Christianity, all are Americans who have studied at the Islamic University of Medina and serve as imams.
Cost: Free. Call 516-5621

“Possibly the only thing they’ve seen on TV could be the bloodthirsty terrorist type. It’s our responsibility as Muslims to represent ourselves.

“No questions are off-limits. We’re welcoming everyone.”

Qureshi, 28, of Plainfield Township, and three other local Sunni Muslims in 2006 started the nonprofit Sunnah Publishing company, which translates Islamic texts on a variety of issues, including divorce and prayer. They planned a conference last year, but three of four scheduled speakers had to cancel their visits.

Plans for the weekend gathering are similar: Discuss Islam’s view of particular hot-button issues, address misconceptions of Islamic teachings on, for example, women’s rights and dispel the myth that Islam supports violence.

“One of the things that seems to take people by surprise is when they see a Muslim openly condemning terrorism,” Qureshi said. “The point at the end of the day is this stuff cannot be connected to Islam. It’s basically a political motivation that drives (terrorists), even through they try to portray it as Islam.

“For someone to justify they can blow up a bus or hijack a plane and indiscriminately kill hundreds of people, this is something nobody will find justification (for in the sacred texts).”

Islam also has something to say about many other current topics, Qureshi said. Here is a sampling to be discussed at the conference:

• The global economic crisis: “Interest is considered a form of oppression in Islam,” Qureshi said. “To take a loan from somebody and expect something more in return is prohibited. We’re not allowed to either give it or take it.”

• Evolution: “We don’t believe in the theory of evolution as it is stated, but we do believe that there is evolution within a species,” said Qureshi, noting Islamic tradition records Adam’s height at 50 cubits, or 75 feet. “Obviously, there has been some evolution from that time until now.”

• The environment: “There is an incentive to be environmentally friendly or animal-friendly in Islam,” said Qureshi, noting the story of a prostitute who cared for a thirsty dog and was forgiven her sins.

• Women’s rights: “People have this misconception that Muslim women are not allowed to have an education,” Qureshi said. “She has the right to education. She has the right to own her own business. She has the right to approve or disapprove (a prospective spouse).”

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Radio Interview about the Conference

Posted August 1, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Conference News, News Coverage

Last week, two of the conference organizers appeared on local radio, 1480 AM WGVU, to promote the Islam in America conference.  Below are some clips from the hour long interview.

Download the MP3 Here:

Conference Schedule – Detailed Itinerary

Posted July 31, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Conference News

What follows below is a working itinerary of the conference.  Keep watching this post for updates and additions to the itinerary.  Saturday’s schedule has been extended and Sunday’s schedule has been added.


11:00 AM – 12:00PM – Welcome Reception

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM – Registration

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM – Friday Sermon and Prayer – all are welcome

2:00 – 2:30 PM – Registration/Break

2:30 PM – 3:45 PM – History of Science in Islām

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM – Break

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM – Recent Controversies about the Prophet Muḥammad

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM – Afternoon (’Aṣr) Prayer

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Environmentalism and Animal Rights in Islām

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM – Dinner

8:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Sunset (Maghrib) Prayer

9:00 PM – 10:15 PM – Muslim Scholars on the Current Economic Crisis

10:15 PM – 10:30 PM – Night (’Ishā‘) Prayer


11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Women’s Rights in Islām

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM – Noon (uhr) Prayer

2:30 – 3:45 PM – Islām in a Secular Humanist Society

3:45 PM – 4:15 – Break

4:15 – 5:30 – Human Rights in Islām

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM – Afternoon (’Aṣr) Prayer

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – The Islāmic View on Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM – Dinner

8:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Sunset (Maghrib) Prayer

9:00 PM – 10:15 PM – The True Islāmic Position on Terrorism and the 9/11 Attacks

10:15 PM – 10:30 PM – Night (’Ishā‘) Prayer


11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – Was Islām Spread by the Sword?

12:45 PM – 1:15 PM – Closing Remarks

Islam in America Conference 2009!!!

Posted July 30, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Conference News

Click here for a print version of the flier

Islam in America Conference 2009!! | Grand Rapids MI, USA
August 7-9, 2009CE

Confirmed Speakers:
Maalik Adam
Abu Ri’aayah Abdur-Razzaaq
Kashiff Khan

WHERE: Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Grand Rapids Airport
5401 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | Suites: $69.00 per night | Call: 616-940-8100 | Use code: “Islam in America Seminar”

WHEN: Friday August 7th – Sunday August 9th

For more information: | 616.516.5621

Keep watching this blog for updates…

Helpful Links for Media

Posted July 30, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Conference News

Islam in America Conference
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Rapids Airport
August 7 – 9, 2009

For the Media
Helpful Links:

Sunnah Publishing: This page contains information about Sunnah Publishing, who is sponsoring the Islam in America Conference.

Islam in America Conference: This page contains detailed information about the mission and goals of the Islam in America Conference Schedule.

Conference Schedule: This page contains the Islam in America Conference schedule – a detailed itinerary.

Press Release: This page contains the official Islam in America Conference press release.

Trailers: This page contains the trailer for the Islam in America Conference.

Speakers: This page contains brief bio of each the speakers.

In the News: This page contains an archive of news stories about the Conference.

FAQ: This page contains the most commonly asked questions about the Islam in America Conference.

Links: This page contains links to the more information about Islam.

Contact Sunnah Publishing:
Use the contact information below to contact us with questions or concerns:

Salahuddin Ali
Executive Director
(616) 516-5621

What is Sunnah Publishing?

Posted July 30, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunnah Publishing

Aims and Objectives

The Arabic term, ‘Sunnah’ comes from the verb ‘sanna’, which means to enact something, usually a custom or habit.  Sunnah is commonly referred to in the religion of Islam as the customary or habitual tradition of the Prophet Muhammad in acts of worship.

So we believe that the term Sunnah accurately conveys what Sunnah Publishing wishes to establish, and that is: to provide services to the Muslim and non-Muslim community in Grand Rapids MI, based upon the established traditions of the Prophet Muhammad.

To further this goal, we have currently fulfilled the following projects:

•    We have published two books dealing with the Muslim belief in God (Arabic: Allah) and the importance of worshipping God alone and a book on issues pertaining to marriage and divorce according to Islamic traditions.  Both of these publications were translated by us from Arabic to English, and they were originally authored by esteemed Islamic Scholars.

•    For the last three years, we have established weekly Sunday school classes for youth, teaching the basics of Arabic language, Islamic creed and the rituals of purification and Prayer in Islam.  These classes have been attended by Muslims as well as the occasional non-Muslim.

•    For the last two years, we have established and maintained two highly popular websites, and which are filled with our translations in text and audio format.  They also serves as a message board of sorts for various traditional Islamic events throughout the country.

•    Due to the fact that we live in turbulent times, we believe it is necessary to make known our position against the violence, extremism, and terrorism that some wicked individuals have perpetrated in the name of Islam.  We do not support any such acts.  Rather, we are at the forefront of condemning such acts and rebutting their twisting of Islamic texts to justify their heinous crimes against humanity.  Many of our publications, audio recordings, and web articles are a testament to this fact.

So this, in short, is a brief overview of Sunnah Publishing.  For more information about us and our activities, products, and future goals, please feel free to contact us:

Sunnah Publishing
P.O. Box 1379
Grand Rapids, MI
Tel. 616.516.5621

Biographies of the Conference Speakers

Posted July 30, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Speakers Biographies

Abul-Hasan Malik Ibn Adam – Abul-Hasan Malik is an Imam in Camden New Jersey, USA. He is an African American who was raised as a Christian. After embracing Islam, he travelled to Egypt where he studied for a number of years. He then travelled to Yemen where he studied with the well-known Muslim Scholar, Shaykh Muqbil Ibn Haadee al-Waadi’ee.  After the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, Abul-Hasan Maalik authored a book in defence of Islam entitled, “In Defence of Islam after 9/11.” To this day, the Imam is very active in calling people to Islam, and towards the upright moral values of The one true God’s final Religion. He has appeared recently on Philadelphia radio to rebut recent attacks levelled at Islam from the Philadelphia Magazine, based upon the criminal acts of some people in the name of Islam.

Abu Hafsah Kashiff Khan – Abu Hafsah is an American born Muslim who studied Islam abroad at the Islamic University of Medina, Saudi Arabia.  He has translated books of the Muslim Scholars from Arabic to English, including ‘Status of the Messenger of Allah and His Rights’ by Dr. Rabi b. Hadi al-Madkhali – in response to some of the controversies that have arisen about Prophet Muhammad recently.  Abu Hafsah currently serves as Imam of the Islamic Center of Asbury Park, NJ.

Abu Khadeejah ‘Abdul-Waahid – Abu Khadeejah has studied Islam in Kuwait.  He is functions as a lecturer and publications director for Salafi Publications in Birmingham, UK.  Abu Khadeejah will be speaking at the conference live from the UK.

News Coverage on the Conference

Posted July 17, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: News Coverage

Muslims ask: ‘Do they really know who we are?’
Saturday, August 23, 2008 By Charles Honey
Grand Rapids Press
Press Religion Editor

GRAND RAPIDS — From their cramped office behind a Southeast Side barber shop, four young men try to get the word out: This is who we are, this is what we believe.

As Muslims in an overwhelmingly Christian community, they see it as their responsibility to tell what Islam truly teaches — to non-Muslims and other Muslims. They aim to do so through Sunnah Publishing, an educational nonprofit they formed four years ago.

“Living in America, we’re the ones who suffer” from misconceptions about Islam, said Maaz Qureshi, 27, a Pakistani Grand Rapids resident since 1997. “It is our religious obligation to clarify what our religion stands for and what it doesn’t.”

Hamza Kantarevic, like Qureshi, sometimes wears the flowing robe, long beard and skullcap of traditionalist Islam. He knows he looks exotic, and perhaps threatening, in conservative West Michigan.

“They might see us and know we are Muslims and live amongst them,” said Kantarevic, 24, a Bosnian who has lived here since 1999. “But do they really know who we are?”

He and his colleagues at Sunnah Publishing hope to answer that and other questions at their first public conference, “Islam in America,” beginning Friday, a few days before Ramadan begins.

The seminar features Muslim scholars from Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and New Jersey addressing a wide array of topics, from what Islam teaches about violence and women to Muslim positions on intelligent design and the environment.

Sunnah Publishing aims to provide answers by “turning back to Islam in its original form,” Qureshi said.

Some local Muslim leaders say they know little about Sunnah Publishing and will attend to learn more.

Ali Metwalli, a leader at the Islamic Mosque and Religious Institute, said the organizers have a “peaceful mindset” but are more conservative than most local Muslims.

Qureshi accepts the conservative label, but says traditional Islam unequivocally condemns the militant extremism that has “messed up the image of Islam.”

“The idea of committing suicide and (making) a plane crash into a building or strapping a bomb on your chest has nothing to do with Islam,” said Qureshi, a database specialist at Pitney Bowes Legal Solutions.

Though not formally educated in Islam, he and his colleagues say they have studied and consulted with top scholars.

Salaahudeen Ali, a lifelong Grand Rapids resident, and Muhammad Muridi also are publishing partners.

They formed the publishing firm with their own funds, selling books and CDs and building a Web site including articles and audio recordings. They also teach classes on Arabic and creeds from their office at 613 Fuller Ave. SE.

Though they say top Islamic scholars have consistently condemned terrorism, the publishers add local Muslims have not been vocal enough about their beliefs.

“Nobody else is going to do it,” Qureshi said. “You kind of have to put yourself out there.”

Send e-mail to the author:

Human Rights in Islam – Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz Al al-Shaykh

Posted May 13, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Islam 101

Human Rights in Islam – The Grand Muftee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Shaykh ‘Abdul-’Azeez Ibn ‘Abdullaah aalush-Shaykh – expounds upon human rights as guaranteed to mankind by Allaah in Islaam.  These include, the right to life, women’s rights, rights of the family and others.  He explains the grave dangers of oppressing people and killing unjustly.  In conclusion, he clarifies the state of those who claim to support human rights, but oppress others in the process – oppression and transgression in the name of human rights!

Issues Covered in this Article:

On Human Rights in Islam:

“He produced from this human race Prophets and Messengers who were sent for the guidance and success of mankind in their worldly lives and in their Hereafter.  Indeed, Islām is concerned with the human being with a fully sanctioned concern.  So the prescribed laws (Sharī’ah) of Allāh have come to purify the servant (i.e. the human being) and they have come for his success in his worldly life and in his Hereafter.  So what are the acts of worship, except a refinement for the soul, purification for it and an education for it upon correct manners and higher ideals?”

Islam has Emancipated Mankind from the Worst Form of Slavery:

“So the greatest blessing from Allāh upon him is that Islām has liberated man from the slavery, the disgrace and the degradation of Shirk (associating others with Allāh in worship).”

On Equality in Islam:

“O people!  Indeed, your Lord is one and your father (i.e. Ādam) is one.  A non-Arab is no better than an Arab, nor is an Arab any better than a non-Arab.  And there is no excellence for a black person over a white one, nor is there any excellence for a white person over a black one, except due to taqwā (righteousness).  The Religion of Islām has preserved human rights in truth; it has preserved them in all aspects of life.”

The Right to Life in Islam:

“And from Islām’s concern for mankind is that it has made aggression unlawful upon him.  So Islām affirms his right to life and it affirms that life is a right for him.  No one is allowed to take a life, except for the One who granted it (i.e. Allāh), and He is capable of all things.”

On Women’s Rights in Islam:

“It has liberated her from those who seek to oppress her, whether they do it by depriving her of her rights, or by trying to deprive her of her Religion and sense of honour.  Islām has safeguarded her honour and protected her nobility.  So Islām respects the woman as a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister.”

On Rights of the Family:

“So it gave the parents their rights, and the wife her rights and the husband his rights and to the children their rights.  And in Islām the neighbours have rights.  And Islām has concern for the neighbours, concern for the relatives and the close companions.”

True Human Rights are in Islam:

“The rights are not a favour granted by human beings.  Rather, they are from the favour of Allāh.  There are rights within Islām that mankind in general deserves, rights with regards to politics, economics, education and societal rights.  These rights have been affirmed by Islām and they do not change, because they have been issued by the Sharī’ah of Islām.”

“And if the Muslims were to ponder carefully upon the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Prophet, they would surely see that the truth and justice is within these two – always and forever.”


Shaykh al-Fawzan on Liberalism, Pluralism and Individual Freedoms

Posted April 4, 2009 by islaminamerica
Categories: Islam 101

The Islamic View Concerning Liberalism, Pluralism and the Western Concept of Individual Freedoms – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan answers a question concerning the infiltration of Liberalist ideas into the Islamic lands, accompanied with the unrestricted personal freedoms that Liberalism calls to – without any attention to what is beneficial or harmful from these freedoms to the individual or to the society at large. This ideology often become widespread under the pretence of pluralism, which allows for equality for all beliefs and creeds, no matter if they contradict the belief in the Creator or not. The noble Scholar explains the condition of the ‘Liberalist Muslims’, and he also answers the fallout that resulted from his initial answer to this question.