Zhikr with Al-Madina Institute from November 7th, 2013

For more information on Al-Madina Institute, please visit http://almadinainstitute.org . Thank you.

This is an original recording of zhikr or remembrance of Allah and His Prophet Muhammad from November 7, 2013. This was performed by members of Al-Madina Institute. The chants consist of prayers and the repetition of the Islamic profession of faith, “La Ilaha Ilallah” (“There is no god but Allah”). The zhikr, or remembrance, continues with the repetition of the Prophet Muhammad’s name (Peace and Blessings Upon Him) and title as messenger of Prophet, as well as the repetition of “Alayhe Salatulah” (Upon him be the blessings of Allah”), and the exclamation of “La Ila ha ilala” (“There is no god but Allah”). It is my hope that you find this spiritually beneficial, and that it brings you peace and closer to Truth. Ameen. Thank you.

The Pious Alim | Al-Madina Institute Blog

Please check out Al-Madina Institute’s blog at http://almadinainstitute.org/blog  and

check out the following post on a wonderful teacher, scholar, and spiritual sage, Shaikh Muhammad Emin Er, May Allah be pleased with him:

The Pious Alim | Al-Madina Institute Blog.

Ghuydar: “The Syrian American Sinatra,” Irfan Aziz Feeds The Poor, Somair Alam’s Quest, Faiz Safdar & RJ Cafe!


When Moutasem Atiya and his dedicated group at Al-Madina Institute put their stamp of approval on something, it is usually because it is quality.  So when Al-Madina recently introduced Nasheed artist Ghuydar Bashmaf through their website, www.almadinainstitute.org, it was a good indication of the bright future Ghuydar’s singing career will have, with God’s help.

Ghuydar is a Syrian American singer who migrated to America in his early childhood.  Ghuydar comes from Aleppo, Syria, renown for its musical heritage.  According to his website, www.ghuydar.com, Ghuydar is influenced by Arabic, Circassian, and Turkish musical traditions, and he sings in these languages as well.  Ghuydar is formerly of the musical nasheed group ‘Travelers,’ which was well known in the New York scene.  He is currently #2 on the AwakeningTalent contest on Youtube, and you can support him by liking his video below on youtube or on http://www.awakening.org.

This dude can sing!

Best of luck to Ghuydar!  The hype is buzzing on when his album is coming out!

Also, some other noteworthy items of note from around the area:

  • Irfan Aziz, a certified chaplain, has been holding it down with feeding our needy brothers and sisters in the DC area at The Central Union Mission.  You can read more about Irfan’s noble efforts here. It is once a month, and if you are interested in volunteering your time, money, or food, please contact Irfan directly @ irfanmaziz@gmail.com or call  347.401.8546.  A man asked Allah’s Messenger, “Which act in Islam is the best?” He replied, “To feed (the poor and the needy) and to greet everyone, whether you are acquainted with them or not.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
  • Somair Alam, a native of Virginia, is gearing up to compete in his first bodybuilding competition in New York, NY this June.  Please show him support by visiting his site, www.somairalam.com, or finding him on Facebook.  The guy is beast.
  • Congratulations to my younger brother, Faiz Safdar, for becoming Security + and CCA Xenapp 6.5 certified.  Microsoft, Google & Apple, holla back!  Doing big things bro! You can send him your offers at Faiz Safdar’s LinkedIn page.
  • Finally, although I hit the gym, I can’t forget about Chubby Cheemy’s Chunky Monkey Sauce.  As requested, this is a public service announcement to let all you halal burger, wings and steak fans know that RJ Cafe is open on Sundays from 11AM to 9PM.  This restaurant is conveniently located in Beltsville, MD and provides a friendly family environment for you and your friends to enjoy the best Americana food around. Check out RJ Cafe onlineBooyah!

Pearls of The Quran 2013


Al-Madina Institute’s Pearls of the Quran Annual Conference will be held from March 29 to March 31, 2013, at the Hyatt Dulles in Herndon, Virginia.  Don’t miss this opportunity to come out and benefit from the wisdom of speakers such as Imam Suhaib Webb, Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui, Dr. Zainab Alwani, Ustadh Moutasem Atiya, Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed, Imam Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Ustadh Marc Manley, Dr. Jonathan Brown and Mohamad Zakariya.

For more information, or to register, please visit Al-Madina Institute’s Website.  Financial aid is available.


Beware of Zombies. Or Are You One?

By: Moutasem Atiya

A few months ago, I was sitting with Shaykh Mohsen Al’Najjar in the Mosque of our Messenger Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him and his family), preparing to make the blessed ziyara (visitation).  As we sat, I could not help but marvel at the amazing Ottoman calligraphy decorating the mosque.  My eyes and spirit quickly fixated on an ornate inscription from the Messenger ﷺ:

“My Intercession is for the Major Sinners of my Nation.” (Sunan Tirmidhi)

I contemplated this for a while.  Why was the Messenger ﷺ pointing this out? We know his intercession is for his whole nation. Why then say it is for the major sinners?

I quickly turned to Shaykh Mohsen, posing this question to him. He reminded me how some, sitting on their high horses, look down upon their brothers and sisters in spiritual need.  We box them into a category and quickly disassociate ourselves from them. We say, “He is a thief, she is a liar, they go clubbing,“ and the list goes on and on.

While we run away from them, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is running to them on the day of Judgment.  While we treat them as some band of zombies, the Messenger ﷺ treats them as his followers in need of aid. Being sent as a mercy to all the worlds does not preclude any of his followers from his intercession before Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He).

His concern during his lifetime was to reconnect people with Allah (swt), no matter how bad the spiritual times they had fallen on.  His objective was not to just condemn, but to rectify.  He once described himself by saying, “I am to you like a parent is to a child.  I teach you,” (Ibn Majah). And taught us you have, O Messenger of Allah!

Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten that model. We often act on our perceived religiosity by quickly condemning others, as if it somehow comes with the territory.  The length of my beard, the perfect placement of my hands in prayer and my impeccable recitation somehow puts me on the higher rank of the spiritual totem pole and I become the judge, jury and executioner of your spiritual life. Allah (swt) warns us of this attitude in the Qur’an when He says:

“So do not claim yourselves to be pure; He is most knowing of who fears Him.” (53:32)

It was narrated that during the time of Prophet Moses alayhi as-salaam (peace be upon him) two men had passed away.  One was considered to be righteous, the other to be a sinner.  Allah (swt) revealed to Moses that the perceived righteous man was in damnation while the sinner had been forgiven.  Moses decided to investigate the matter, visiting the widows of the men to see what they were like at home.

The widow of the “righteous” man said he was just as good inside the house as he was outside, except he would sometimes strangely say, “We will be successful if Moses is really telling the truth.”  The widow of the “sinner” said he was just as bad inside the house as he was outside, except every so often he would cry himself to sleep saying, “Oh Allah, what level of punishment will you place me in?”

One man showed sincerity in his belief even though he fell short in action, earning him Allah’s mercy, while the other man showed doubt in his belief even though his acts were many. The realm of spirituality belongs to Allah (swt).  Our goal is to call people to Him in the most beautiful of ways while taking ourselves into account first. So the next time you plan on judging your Muslim brother and sister, don’t, because that zombie you see just might be your own self.

Moutasem Atiya has been actively involved in the Metropolitan DC communities through classes, speaking engagements, and Friday khutbahs on a regular basis for the past 10 years. He has studied the Islamic sciences from three of the luminaries of our time, Shaykh Mohsen An-Najjar, Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui, and Shaykh Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Ninowy. He is a teacher at the Al-Madina Institute.

via Beware of Zombies. Or Are You One?.

Pearls of the Qur’an Conference in Washington, DC this weekend!


Pearls of the Qur’an 2012

The 2012 Pearls of the Qur’an retreat comes to Washington DC in April 2012!

Join some of our leading scholars as they examine both the external and internal dimensions of the Qur’an and share their commentary on many verses that now, more than ever, require a renewed understanding and application.

Register today, and immerse yourself in the ocean of the Qur’an, as our beloved teachers draw out from its blessed waters some of its finest pearls.

Confirmed speakers: Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui, Shaykh Muhammad Ninowy, Shaykh Alaedin El-Bakri, Dr. Zainab Alwani, Ustadh Moutasem Atiya and Imam Mohamed Magid

Topics include:

The Covenant of the Prophets
Ustadh Moutasem Atiya

The Rule of Wisdom: Commentary from the Chapter of the Ants
Dr. Zainab Alwani
Standing with the Prophet: Lessons from Surah Ahzab
Shaykh Alaedin El-Bakri
Expanding Our Hearts: Surah Ta-Ha & The Journey of Prophet Musa
Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui
The Best of Stories: Themes from Surah Yusuf
Shaykh Muhammad Ninowy
Divine Protection: The Verse of the Throne & Supplication
Imam Mohamed Magid