Faith and Home Finance: University Islamic Financial Corporation

university islamic financialWhen undertaking a venture that involves buying a home, a clear understanding of your options can open up what you may have thought were boundaries. Yesterday, I attended University Islamic Financial‘s presentation on Islamic financing yesterday at Dar Al-Hijrah. UIF Vice President, Aijaz Hussain, was able to thoroughly and clearly answer all my questions about financing a home while keeping Islamic principles in mind.

Some of the topics covered included:

  • Differences between Conventional and Islamic banking
  • Pricing: Is Islamic Financing really more expensive?
  • Sharia Financing – Models, Applications and Benefits
  • Sharia Board – Approval Process and Auditing

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Mr. Hussain will conduct two more FREE sessions today at Dar Al Noor (Manassas, VA) at 12:30PM and MAS Community Center (Alexandria, VA) at 7PM.

Key take-away: there is a way to get Good Tree Village built!

Eid Mubarak from Good Tree Village

Eid Mubarak! Blessed Eid!

During Eid al Adha, we honor Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah. We also celebrate Allah’s mercy when He intervened to provide Prophet Ibrahim with a sheep to sacrifice instead. As one contemporary Islamic scholar has noted:

“The objective of sacrifice is to express gratitude to the Almighty. When we offer our life symbolically to the Almighty by offering the sacrifice of an animal, we are in fact expressing our gratitude on the guidance of submission which was expressed by Abraham by sacrificing his only son. On this occasion, the words uttered to declare the exaltedness and oneness of the Almighty are done so for this very objective. The Qur’an has explained this directive in the following words: The flesh and blood [of your sacrificed animals] does not reach God; it is only your piety that reaches Him. Thus has He subjected them to your service so that you may give glory to God for guiding you. [This is the way of the righteous] and [O Prophet!] give glad tidings to these righteous. (Qur’an 22:37).” [Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, Mizan]

Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair! May every year find you in good health!

Eid Mubarak from Good Tree Village

The Good Tree Village Ramadan Challenge 2012 helped many Muslims be more mindful of what we ate and how we ate it this Ramadan. May Allah (highly glorified is He) accept our efforts. We wish you blessed Eid ul Fitr and a more mindful year of less: Eating less meat and making less trash. Eid Mubarak!

Believe and Do No Harm

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Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle (may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) said, “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet.”

Bukhari

Good Tree Village Ramadan Challenge 2012

Food! It’s a big part of Ramadan. After fasting from food and drink from the onset of sunrise, we all look forward to the sunset when we can eat together at a community iftar. Somewhere between saying “Bismillah” and that first bite, let’s infuse some perspective and mindfulness into our worship. Let’s rectify our stomachs with the Sunnah.

As Muslims our interactions with nature should be grounded in the principles of rahmah (mercy), shukr (gratitude) and mizan (moderation). The blessings of eating in community should be balanced with how we eat in community. Surely our attitudes and appetites would change for the better if at the start of each iftar we see a picture of the mounds of garbage created by unchecked cravings and thoughtless actions from the previous iftar. Ramadan is the perfect time of the year to actively address issues of wastefulness, over-consumption, hunger and global warming.

TAKE THE GOOD TREE VILLAGE RAMADAN CHALLENGE!

GUIDELINES

  • Let us know who you are and where you’re from. Add your first name, last initial, and location as a comment to this blog post.
  • Try at least one Ramadan Challenge. Start when you want. Stop when you want. Start again.
  • Share the Ramadan Challenge with your friends.
  • We said vegetarian, but go ahead and keep eggs, milk and other dairy products in your diet. Just try to keep away from anything that has a face until the weekend.
  • Already vegan or vegetarian? Welcome! But please share at least one of your favorite recipes.

Illustration by Sam Kerr for TIME

Illustration by Sam Kerr

What are the benefits of WEEKDAY VEGETARIAN IFTARS?

  • Eating less meat is healthier for our bodies.
  • It takes a lot of resources (water, feed, land) to put meat on our tables.
  • Eating less meat is easier on our wallets.
  • Experience the challenges of being vegan / vegetarian in a “carnivorous” religion.

What are the benefits of NO TRASH IFTARS?

  • Save your iftar host (your masjid, your fellow Muslim, yourself) money on all the disposable dinnerware they must purchase to feed others.
  • Reduce the waste added to landfills after feeding family, friends and community. Let’s feed our communities without trashing our planet.
  • Get in the Ramadan spirit. Reusable dishware is more durable and often more attractive than disposables. You can use what you already have, but eating on special reusable dishware used just for Ramadan, for every Ramadan, adds a touch of beauty and tradition to iftar celebrations.

Need help GETTING STARTED?

Treehugger has a rack of easy vegetarian recipes. Browse the recipes at Moosewood Restaurant or go to your local library and check out vegetarian cookbooks.

The Preserve On the Go Tableware Party Pack is pretty much one-stop shopping. They are made from recycled plastic and post-consumer paper; lightweight but sturdy and can withstand hundreds of uses; dishwasher safe; and BPA- and melamine-free. Find them at My Organic Market (MOMs), Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

For those with more adventurous tastes, check out this colorful, eclectic, durable No Trash Iftar Kit which contains:

  • a BPA-free tumbler
  • a SnackTAXI Organic Twice-as-Nice Napkin
  • a bamboo To-Go Ware CONSERVE Utensil Set
  • a stainless steel divided food tray and double-walled bowl from The Tickle Trunk, and
  • a collapsible market tote

Take the Good Tree Village Ramadan Challenge and reap even more spiritual, economic and physical benefits of fasting this Ramadan, inshaAllah. For additional opportunities to green your Ramadan, check out 10 Ways to Green Your Ramadan.

Tell us how it goes: What’s been the reaction of people in your community? What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe? Does your meat taste more delectable on the weekend or has it lost a bit of its luster?