Akhira or Dunya The new Logo for Trick or Treat

Every year we come to celebrate Halloween for the sake of joy, candy, custom (role) play, and much more. Although it all seems okay and the social norm, it is not. As a Muslim, I must remind myself first foremost and my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters that this one night is not okay for us to take part of. We have allowed Shytaan take over our imaan (faith in Allah) by making up with all these excuses from “it’s not haram” to “I’m just having a fun night” to “well my intention is not to do anything wrong,” and the list can go on.  When we are taking part of the parties, custom role play and so forth, we are saying, “it’s okay for us as Muslims to join the soceity and have fun even if we are not drinking alcohol and doing anything ‘wrong'”. But this is not okay. Remember, I did not say, “it’s is not haram.”Every time I am driving by a house and see the decorations of dead skeletons, RIP banner and so forth, I remember the true reality of our life. I remember how it is easy for Allah SWT to put our bones back together as we shall be resurrected and asked how we have lived our life. Also, I remember Surah Al Takathur.

Also remember this hadith of our Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him, “you must keep my sunnah & the sunnah of rightly guided caliphs; cling to it firmly. Beware of newly invited matters, for every new matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misleading.” [Bukhari]

Surah Al Takathur

So think about the graveyard as you see them as decorations or as you see them in reality.

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islam and halloween






Love, Hope, Jannah!

We can not understand each other until we allow love to enter our hearts and our life. We can not be one unit if we live our lives upon hate and anger. Let go of grudges and forgive each other. Remember the beauty of love. And no, love does not have to be limited to “romantic” love. It has an endless meaning but in the end it’s about peace and understanding each other.

Look beyond color, race, status, etc.

Look beyond color, race, status, etc.

You are the light of hope. God gave you a life, and it is a beautiful gift. Do not be depressed over your situation despite its difficulty or easiness. Have hope in Allah and be the hope to others. Once you have hope and you share it with those around you and around the world, the hope shall come back to you in full circle.


Live in a society in a way to remember that this world is not the final destination. The final home is in Akhira (the hereafter); therefore let’s support each other towards building a house in Jannah.

Help each other to reach it not away from it

Help each other to reach it not away from it

Be a support system, one body, as Prophet Mohammad S.A.W has taught us to be, one ummah.

Know Thyself

By Ola Alghazzouli

I am from

Damascus, Syria and Virginia

I am an American Syrian

My faith is

Islam and in


Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him


And all prophets peace be upon them all

I am an only child with many sisters and brothers

I am bilingual

Arabic is my first language

English is my second

My new passion is into fitness and Islam

My new goal in life is to promote my fitness pages with a positive message


Most of my family is overseas where some are in





Saudi Arabia

My parents are everything to me

My hobbies are various including




Seeking knowledge

Wearing headscarf is my choice

Know Thyself

What role of American Muslims can play in promoting the cause of human rights all over the world? (Scholarship Essay I chose to answer)

As an American Muslim, I believe that we have the responsibility to promote the cause of human rights all over the world.  As a Muslim, we are asked from God to follow Prophet Mohammad PBH as he is the last Messenger. Prophet Mohammad PBH promoted human rights throughout his life. In my opinion, as a true believer in Allah swt, we should try our best to promote peace because one of Allah’s 99 Names is The Peace “Al-Salam.” There are ways which an American Muslim can promote humanity and human rights, and these ways are through media, education system, and support causes and organizations that are pro-humanity. Media is used widely and can speak to many people, education system is important because we need to teach everyone on human rights from Islamic perspective, and supporting projects that are pro-humanity is a positive way to get engaged in working toward human rights.

Media is one of the ways that human rights can be promoted because media is used widely whether it is youth or adults. In my opinion, media can be used positively to promote human rights and represent American Muslims. Every time I turn on the T.V or radio, I always hear news from American non-Muslim perspective. I barely see any American Muslim standing up for truth or representing human rights. However, I would like to mention an example of a person that I got to know more during my summer internship. Noor Tagouri is an American Muslim journalist who works for a local T.V station. In my opinion, people like her and me who are the future generation should not be afraid to be behind T.V screens or any media stream to promote human rights. On the other hand, I believe social media is another tool. Many people these days use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and much more. I believe these are few examples which can be used to share and promote peace and humanity. For example, on Facebook, there are groups, support pages, and much more that are promoting Islam and humanity in creative ways.

Furthermore, educating society on human rights from Islamic perspective is an important aspect. I believe, and in my strong opinion, that education system is a good tool to be used to promote human rights. I used to be an assistant teacher at my local masjid for its Sunday school program. I assisted the teacher for first grade. Watching kids grow up and be fed with so much information from both public schools and Sunday school, it is crucial to teach them the true meaning of humanity and human rights. Education system is not limited to elementary students, but to all students including university level. It doesn’t have to be just a course in school that specifically teaches on human rights. It can be through one large seminar, activity or event.  American Muslims have the duty to show society and the world that Islam is a peaceful religion that has promoted humanity and human rights more than 1400 years ago. In my opinion, especially that I received my middle school, high school, and now university education in the U.S, I feel the urge and importance of focusing on our history classes. I feel that every time I studied history, I never found much information on the Islamic empires and their success. If we truly study the medieval history of Europe, we will find a time frame of peace and harmony among all religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. This time frame was in Spain under a Muslim rule. Therefore, there is more than one reason to focus on education system.

Supporting projects that are pro human rights and humanity is important for American Muslims. For instance, this summer 2014, my friend started her own project called “Hijabis 4 Humanity.” With this project, she aims to raise awareness on humanity and promote Islam in a peaceful manner. Also, this summer I was an intern for a nonprofit organization called: Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD). This summer I assisted my friend in selling her hijabs that she made from scratch and promoted her project. As we were selling at our local masjid, we got lots of support from community members and many sisters bought hijabs and ordered for more. On the other hand, I was wearing “Peace for Gaza” t-shirt made from Helping Hand. Furthermore, another friend was leader of a Virginia chapter of non-profit organization called Project Sakinah. This project started in 2009 with the intention to help families who struggle from domestic violence. In order to have a healthy society that supports human rights, we need to look at our own homes and see if there is any peace in it. Another non-profit organization that fights for human rights is CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). From CAIR’s website, they stated that their mission is “to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”  In my opinion, projects and organizations like these are important for us to promote and support.

Last but not least, as a Muslim and as an American, we have full pledge duty to promote human rights as servants of Allah swt and as followers of Prophet Mohammad PBH. There are many ways to promote peace and humanity in our lives, and these ways are through media, education system, and support projects that are pro human rights. Together as an ummah and as citizens of this country, we can unite and be role models to non-Muslims on how beautiful Islam is, and how our religion has been promoting human rights more than 1400 years ago.

How Internet Help me Explore the World: Scholarship Essay

    Internet has helped me explore world in more than one way. Internet is widely used these days among youth and adults for various reasons. As a university student, I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Google.

     First of all, I would like to emphasize how twitter has helped me find an internship and from the internship, it made my summer 2014 to be a remarkable summer! Indeed from a retweet, I saw a flyer for an internship position for a nonprofit organization that works globally. I applied and got the position. Part of my internship was to do a fundraiser event for a cause which I chose Orphan Sponsor Program; therefore, I used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other websites to promote the event. Also, for the event, I had to look for a famous speaker to be part of the event. To be honest, social networking websites have helped me connect to new speakers and create new connections. Indeed, internet has really helped me tremendously. Twitter has helped me explore world more because I am able to follow various people from all over the place in the world. I am able to see what others think of current situations, on what’s going on in their area and other interesting things that help me see what’s out there in life.

     Facebook is another social networking that is used online. I use it to connect with family and friends. Also, I used it to share posts on topic that I think are important. I have my own Facebook groups, and I am also part of other groups. In fact, groups are helpful when it comes to discover the world. They gather people with same interest and post information that are helpful. In my opinion, these days, Facebook is used widely to promote events. So when there is a local or national event, they can be found on Facebook. For example, my fundraiser dinner was shared widely on Facebook.

     Furthermore, when it comes to purchasing college books from book store, sometimes it can be burdensome to me because bookstores sell books at a higher price than what a college student can afford. Therefore, sometimes I have to explore other places to find the same book at cheaper website. For example, I use www.chegg.com to rent some of my books. At my university, there is a Facebook group page for Biology major and for sell/exchange books. These in my opinion are helpful to explore school and other things.

      Instagram is really helpful when it comes to explore world. I sometimes go to search page to see what others post from all over the world. It is really interesting to see what’s out there. There is one account called “nature” which I follow. They post pictures from photographers who take very professional and nice pictures on nature from all over the places. This in my opinion is really nice when it comes to explore world. There are some things that I never know but in fact exist in nature or in life.

     Moreover, I use famous video website www.youtube.com which posts videos on various categories. When it comes to school, I search topics from my classes to help me understand the material that is covered in class. For example, for my Immunology class I would search topics that we are studying. I find videos that are from other professors or universities and so forth. This is helpful not only in learning, but also to see how someone from another country is able to teach same subject in a different way. Youtube helps me to search for news, for comedy, music, and much more. This is a fun way to explore the world.

     Last but not least, Google, a famous search engine is used widely. I can type anything in search box, and it will give me many resources. It’s interesting how I learned about a community in another state indirectly. I was once searching for certain topic for my internship essay, and I found a community in another state which was random. I clicked on the link, and from there, I was able to learn about another community and find another speaker.

My Experience as an Intern for Helping Hand for Relief and Development

Experience as an Intern for Helping Hand

            All praises to Allah swt, who bless us every day and sustain our needs. As an intern with Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) this summer 2014, I have learned a lot about non-profit organizations, about myself, and about communities. In my opinion, it is very important to be part of non-profit organization at least once in our life time as well as explore communities we live in. As an intern with Helping Hand, I have got the chance to live the legacy of Prophet Mohammad S.A.W.


        Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) has various programs they work toward such as Orphan Sponsor, Water for Life and much more. As an intern, I really wanted to work toward helping orphans so Orphan Sponsor Program (OSP) was perfect fit for me. Part of my internship, I had to organize an event to raise funds and awareness toward the program. It was quiet a great experience, Alhomdulliah. I ended up working with another intern for the event which took place on July 19th and it was a charity auction and fundraiser dinner. The event was called “A Call for Guardians.”

This the flyer the intern and I had to work on for our event. We used it to market our event.

This the flyer the intern and I had to work on for our event. We used it to market our event.

           Being an intern for HHRD has helped me get closer to my deen. There are more than one region in the country, such as in CA, TX, NJ, and much more. Therefore, we would have a national weekly conference as well as a regional meeting. During each conference and meeting, we would have at least five minute “Tazkiyaah” lectures which were targeted to share short hadith, stories that help us remember Allah swt, our purpose of this life, and why we are doing good work. Each short-lecture would tie back to Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad S.A.W and to please Allah swt. I truly loved this part.

         Also, from my internship, I met president of ICNA Naeem Baig, and I was able to network with other professionals. ICNA is the mother of Helping Hand, so ICNA helps out Helping Hand in time of needs and so does Helping Hand. I liked this aspect.  This is only one example that I was able to benefit from being an intern with HHRD. This life is not only about improving our resume or our networking; this life is to improve our relationship with Allah swt through the means we attain in this world. All the work that I worked for Helping Hand has truly helped me connect to Allah swt even more. This in my opinion is the most valuable gift of all time.

Receiving my certificate from ICNA's President

            Last but not least, I have been treated from all officers and interns from Helping Hand with full respect. This is very important in the work-life. Alhomdulliah, everyone was friendly and would take their time to listen to me and assist me with my questions and concerns.

          At my event, I had two girls come up to me saying “This is amazing! We want to be involved with HHRD.” I told them about volunteering opportunities which can be found on website: www.hhrd.org, as well as the Youth Involvement Program, which are the internship opportunities. I would like to emphasize that HHRD offers internship in Spring for their Haiti Program, and they have internship applications for Summer which what I did.

I was speaking about the program in details to audience. It was my duty to make the powerpoint and explain the program.

I was speaking about the program in details to audience. It was my duty to make the powerpoint and explain the program.

        Furthermore, I am a strong believer that my generation is the future generation of Islam, and so it is my duty to represent Islam and work for it in the best manner. And Helping Hand has set the foundations for me to be this person and has uplifted my spirits into getting back on track with my life, my deen, and my relationship with society.

I would like to conclude with few reminders and statements. There is famous quote that Helping Hand is using on the back t-shirt they are selling for Gaza for their Palestine Relief Program: “Be the Change that You Wish to see in the World.” I highly encourage the youth to reconsider their youth time and get involved with at least one nonprofit organization to gain on-hands experience. Volunteering one’s time for a cause is never a waste.

This is the back t-shirt from HHRD for their Palestine Relief Program  "Be the Change that You Wish to see in World"

This is the back t-shirt from HHRD for their Palestine Relief Program
“Be the Change that You Wish to see in World”


to pluck or not to pluck [The Eyebrows]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwD4cMMBPwQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f9leu9Ms8A Alqamah related that ‘Abdullah said, “Allah curses women who tattoo and are tattooed, women who pluck their eyebrows, and women who file their teeth to make gaps for beauty, altering Allah’s creation! Why should I not curse those whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, cursed when that is […]