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Friday, May 27, 2011

Islamic Center of Tennessee

Assalamualeikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.

Alhamdulillah. Friday, May 20th, marked the official opening of The Islamic Center of Tennessee, a non-profit organization. Although, the official opening was one week delayed, but the outcome was great. The first Khutbah was delivered by Shekih Abdulrahman. Shekih Abdulrahman is a Muslim American who graduated from the Islamic University of Madina, he will also be graduating from Vanderbilt University with a Master in Religious studies. Soon after the Khutbah, refreshments were provided for the attendees.

The new Islamic Center of Tennessee was established to educate the Muslims and the non-Muslim about Islam. Their mission is to “provide resources for high quality Islamic education and creating an intellectually enriching environment founded on the principles of Islam as a complete way of life. In an age of many life challenges, ICT is committed to helping Muslims live a rich Islamic life and instill these values in the future generation of Muslims.”

The building for the new center was an old theater purchased on August 2010. Renovations were made for the Masjid space, coffee shop, bookstore, meeting space, events, and rental space is also available. The Masjid space holds approximately 1,100 people. There is also an operational movie theatre that holds up to 350 people. This space could be used for lectures and conferences. The center’s parking can accommodate up 800 cars.

For more information about the center please click here to visit their website and like their page on Facebook.

Click here for pictures

-Islam Sets Me Free

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Islamic Marriage Rules

Islam provides essential ingredients for a man and woman to be married and to have sexual relations as man and wife. While there are many books on the subject which we recommend for all Muslims to read, we humbly offer the follow information about these ingredients, inshallah.
1. The first ingredient is the "wali" (nearest relative to the lady, such as her father or brother if the father is unable to perform the task) or "wakil" (imam or appointed guardian to act on behalf of the best interests of the lady). It is his job to help find and interview the background of any potential suitor for the lady.

2. After choosing the young man, there is an appointment scheduled for the two of them to meet (under chaperoned supervision) to discuss their possible future together.

3. After the initial meeting, both of them are to pray to Allah in the form of salat known as "salatul istakharah" for guidance. If this is not done, it does not invalidate the marriage, but it is something that will really help both of them in their future. Please refer to the subject of the "salatul istakharah."

4. If both of them recognized positive signs from the "salatul istakharah" then they would proceed to make the "nikah" (marriage contract). This again is done under supervision with two witnesses. It is usually attended by an imam or knowledgeable person in Islam, just so that there will be no mistakes in taking care of the details.

5. The mahr (dowry) is presented and the lady is asked if she is prepared to accept this mahr and be married to this man. This is usually repeated three times in front of the witnesses, but at least one acknowledgment from the lady is necessary to proceed.

6. The women would then sign the nikah document in front of the witnesses.

7. The witnesses (usually two) would sign and attest that they had been present at the nikah and did witness the acceptance by the lady of the offer of marriage by the man. The imam might also sign, but this does not affect the validity of the marriage. Any two adult Muslims may witness the document. In the case of women witnesses, it is correct to have two in place of one. If there were to be two witnesses, but one is a woman, then it would be correct to have a man and two women sign the document.

8. After the acceptance of the lady, the signing of the nikah (document), witnessing of the two witnesses and exchange of mahr, the man and the women are considered legal in Islam to live together and be together as man and wife and to have sex. However, until they actually consummate the marriage (i.e., have intercourse) they may cancel the marriage, and the mahr would be returned back to the man.

9. After the signing of the marriage document, and the acceptance of the bride of the 'mahr' (dowry), and the signing of the two witnesses, the groom is free to take his bride at anytime he chooses. There is no waiting, if that is what you are implying. As regards any kind of a deadline, this would be according to the contract. If the lady or the gentleman has specified that for whatever reasons, if they are not able to be living together by such and such a date, then the mahr could be returned back to the man and the woman and man would be considered not married (unless of course, if they had consummated the marriage by having sex together).

10. If the groom is unable or unwilling to take the bride after an extended period of time and she or he would like to annul the marriage, they would simply let the other person know and cause the mahr to be returned to the groom.

NOTE: This is all based on the fact that although they have a contract for marriage (nikah) it is not considered completed until after they consummate (have sex). Once that has happened, they are married and the only way for them to no longer be married would be through divorce (khulwa or lian or talaq).

And of course, Allah Knows Best.

Any good is from Allah the mistakes were from myself. May Allah guide all of us to His Truth, ameen.

Salam alaykum - Yusuf Estes
National Muslim Chaplain (retired)


Friday, May 20, 2011

As Salaamu Alaykum

As Salaamu Alaykum Readers

Welcome to my blog, Islam Sets Me Free. This blog is to spread the true message of Islam. I am not scholar nor do I have any form of education in the field of Islam, but I will provide the links required for you on each post if you wish to seek more information about a particular topic. I highly encourage everyone to read the Quran and ask Muslim scholars (Just Ask Islam) regarding their concerns.
I am a college student, a wife, and a mother to a beautiful girl. I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband and a daughter; they surely  bring a great amount of joy to my life, Alhamudillah.
Please do like my fan page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter
JazakAllah Khra

-Islam Sets Me Free

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Abu Mussab Wajdi Akkari

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