Growing up Muslim A PRESENTATION BY MS. RIZVI

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1 Growing up Muslim A PRESENTATION BY MS. RIZVI

2 By now you all should have learned about the basics of Islam through your course of study with Ms. Sanfilippo. Hopefully I can also shed some light on my religion by sharing a little bit about my experience with you. If you have any questions at the end of this presentation, you can get in touch with me via .

3 Learning about Islam Growing up, I learned about Islam through my parents and grandparents, but also every Sunday during Sunday School at my local Mosque. At Sunday School, I learned about the 5 Pillars of Islam, how to pray 5 times a day, how to read/recite the Quran. It was at Sunday School where I met a lot of my friends whom I am still friends with today. We learned about Islam, prayed and fasted together I even performed the Hajj with one of my best friends whom I met at Sunday School.

4 Halal Islam has some strict dietary rules. Muslims aren t allowed to eat pork, or drink alcohol, and have to eat meat that is Halal. Halal is when the meat of the animal is slaughtered in a certain way, and an Imam (Muslim Scholar) recites a prayer over the meat. This practice is very similar to Kosher for Jewish people Because of these strict rules, I grew up eating halal foods, and would only eat vegetarian food when we went to restaurants that didn t offer halal options. Nowadays, there are lots of halal options, so my family, friends and I aren t limited to what we can and cannot eat. :)

5 Speaking of Food During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast, or don t eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. This includes water. The idea behind Ramadan is for people to gain patience and to also empathize with those who don t have food and drink on a regular basis. Learning to live without being able to eat or drink anything was really hard at first, but as I grew up, and have fasted every year since I was about 8 years old, it has became easier and easier. In addition to not eating or drinking anything, Muslims try to give up any bad habits, and they usually use the month to recite more of the Quran and become closer to God by attending the mosque and giving to charity. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar. Islam s calendar is based on the lunar year, and so the month of Ramadan starts at a different time every year This coming year, Ramadan will start in the middle of May, Last year, it started at the end of May.

6 Eid At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. Eid is a big celebration where we all get together in the early morning, and pray together, and then we visit friends and families home celebrating and eating lots of yummy foods! We also exchange presents, decorate our homes, and have large gatherings at the mosque. It s a time where we get dressed up in festive clothes, get henna designs, and have a good time with our friends and families.

7 The Other Eid Eid-ul-Adha is the second celebration during the Islamic Calendar. It happens during the month of Dhul-Hijjah, when the piligrimage of Hajj has been completed. Every year, millions of Muslims head to Mecca to perform Hajj, and those who don t go, will celebrate Eid-ul-Adha. Similar to Eid-ul-Fitr, families and friends get together and go to the mosque to pray. Because Eid-ul-Adha and Hajj represent the actions of Prophet Abraham sacrifing a lamb for God, Muslims are also required to have a lamb, cow, or even a goat slaughtered, and distribute the meat to those less fortunate. Some Muslims, like my uncle, will go to the slaughter houses and sacrifice one of the above themselves, or pay to have a service take care of it.

8 Performing Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca In October of 2014, I had the privilege of performing the Hajj with my siblings. It was a nice coincidence that my best friend her parents were also performing the Hajj at the same time, and we were able to meet and perform part of the Hajj together. Hajj is one the five pillars of Islam and is required for all Muslims to try to perform at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able to do so. In addition to visiting Mount Arafat (the Mountain of Mercy) where pilgrims pray for forgiveness, casting stones at stone structure representing the devil. Pilgrims also visit the Grand Mosque where they recite prayers while walking around the Kaaba (the cube like structure believed to be God s house and the ultimate place of worship) and between two mountains, Safa and Marwa 7 times. These rituals represent that actions that Prophet Abraham and his wife Hagar did in the past. PS. I was named for Hagar (Hajar Hajera) because my mom was pregnant with me when she and my dad were performing Hajj :)

9 Some verses of the Quran. The following verses from the Quran serve as a foundation for what a lot of Muslims believe about their religion. Whoever kills a person [unjustly] it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind. (Qur an, 5:32) O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing of you. (Quran, 49:13) Turn & Talk, What do you think of these verses?

10 Islam is a Universal Religion Muslims that you might meet come from very diverse backgrounds. Islam is open to anyone and everyone. During my pilgrimage to Mecca, I encountered people of all ethnicities from all over the world. Even locally at my mosque, there are people who are Muslim from all over the world. One of the really cool things about performing the Hajj was seeing everyone wear white clothing for certain parts of the Hajj. This is so that no one can differentiate between how wealthy and how poor a person is- because in the eyes of God- we are all equal and should treat each other as such. The only thing that should differentiate one person from another is their character and actions.

11 Growing up Muslim Growing up as a Muslim, my family and friends and I never really had any issues or faced any discrimination because of our faith. It was only after 9/11 where things started to change- I was in high school at the time, and people who wore traditional clothing, covered their hair with the hijab, or had Muslim sounding names started to face discrimination and were treated differently, especially those who lived in less diverse areas. Someone had vandalized our garage door one time with some unpleasant words at around that time unfortunately. Over the years, there has been an increasing amount of Islamophobia, especially in recent years with all the horrible things done in the name of my religion. Islam is a religion of peace- the word Islam is made of two Arabic words that mean peace and submission. Submission to God, and a peaceful existence

12 The best way to combat Islamophobia is to learn about Islam. Because just like anything else, it is only through learning and tolerance that we are able to understand each other. If you d like to learn and know more about Islam, here are some really great resources: As always, be careful while you search online as there is lots of misinformation out there unfortunately. Or you can always get in touch with me, and I ll answer as best as I can.

13 The End. : ) Hope you all are doing really well! And in case you didn t get to see a picture from my wedding Miss you all! Tell Ms. Cassandra I say hi!

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