Ramadan-2022 Message

Message From Imam Sawadogo
“O’ you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be God-conscious. [Fasting] for a fixed number of days.  But if any one of you is sick or on a journey, then [let him fast] an equal number of other days. For those who can fast [with extreme difficulty], compensation should be made by feeding a needy person [for every day not fasted]. Whoever volunteers to do good, that is better for him. And to fast is better for you, if only you knew” (Quran 2:183-184).

As-salamu Alaykum

I pray that you all and your families are staying safe and are in the best state of health and faith. I would like to congratulate the Muslim community on the spiritual journey they are all about to embark on with the coming of Ramadan. Allah says in the Holy Quran about the journey of fasting Ramadan:
﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ (183)﴾ البقرة
“O you who believe! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you so that you might remain conscious of God” (2:183)

Ramadan is not only a month for fasting, but it is also, an important time for deep reflection on our spiritual connection with Allah and with the people around us. It is meant to cultivate in us a quality of God-consciousness and compassion towards our fellow human beings. Through fasting and avoiding sinful deeds and thoughts, we train ourselves to gain control not only over our actions but also gain control over our thoughts and our desires.

The significance of Ramadan to Muslims was summarized by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him when he said, congratulating his companions for the coming of Ramadan:
“أَتَاكُمْ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ، شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ صِيَامَهُ، تُفْتَحُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَتُغْلَقُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَحِيمِ، وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ مرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ، لِلَّهِ فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِمَ”
“The month of Ramadan has come to you, a blessed month which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it, the gates of the heavens are opened, whereas the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious Shaytans are chained. In it, there is a night better than a thousand months. Whosoever is deprived of its blessings is indeed deprived.”

Imam Al-Ghazali categorizes fasting into three levels
1- Layperson’s fastingصوم العوام : This is the beginners’ level and the easiest fasting. It consists of abstaining from food, drink, and intimate relation during the days of Ramadan.
2- Professionals’ fastingصوم الخواص : This is the intermediate level and it is relatively harder than the previous level. It consists of keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands, and feet free from sin during the days and nights of Ramadan.
3- Experts’ fastingصوم خواص الخواص : This is the advanced level and the most difficult fasting. It consists of focusing on nothing but Allah and fasting with the heart and mind by abstaining from worldly thoughts and concerns during the nights and days of Ramadan.

Let us all try this year to rise above the layperson’s fasting and aim at achieving the professional’s fasting. Let us also remember that Ramadan forces us to experience hunger so that we can put ourselves in the shoes of those who are in need. So, with the coming of Ramadan let us all race towards goodness and compassion towards others.

The doors to goodness are numerous as Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said.
Removing harm from the middle of the road, assisting a person who is in need, maintaining the ties of kinship, and checking on family members and friends. Even smiling at others is regarded as a good deed and carries the same weight as giving to charity.

Finally, let us be mindful that Ramadan is not only about improving the relationship between Allah and man, but it is also about improving the relationship between human beings and their fellow human beings.

Ramadan Kareem and as-salamu alaykum

Ramadan-2021 Message

Message From Imam Sawadogo
“O’ you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be God-conscious. [Fasting] for a fixed number of days.  But if any one of you is sick or on a journey, then [let him fast] an equal number of other days. For those who can fast [with extreme difficulty], compensation should be made by feeding a needy person [for every day not fasted]. Whoever volunteers to do good, that is better for him. And to fast is better for you, if only you knew” (Quran 2:183-184).

As-salamu Alaykum
I pray that you all and your families are staying safe and are in the best state of health and Iman.
Ramadan is a month meant to develop in us a quality of righteousness, God-consciousness, and self-restraint. Through fasting and avoiding sinful deeds and thoughts we train ourselves to gain control over our actions, our thoughts, and our desires. Ramadan also compels us to experience hunger and taste the feeling of those who do not have enough food to live a healthy and active life.
The significance of Ramadan to Muslims was summarized by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him when he said, congratulating his companions for the coming of Ramadan:
“أَتَاكُمْ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ، شَهْرٌ مُبَارَكٌ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ صِيَامَهُ، تُفْتَحُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَتُغْلَقُ فِيهِ أَبْوَابُ الْجَحِيمِ، وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ مرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ، لِلَّهِ فِيهِ لَيْلَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ مَنْ حُرِمَ خَيْرَهَا فَقَدْ حُرِمَ”
“The month of Ramadan has come to you, a blessed month which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it, the gates of the heavens are opened, whereas the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious Shaytans are chained. In it, there is a night better than a thousand months. Whosoever is deprived of its blessings is indeed deprived.”
The whole world is still going through a difficult time due to the spread of Covid-19. Though many signs of progress in fighting the pandemic can be seen, caution must still be exercised as the light at the end of the tunnel is yet to be seen. Consequently, the Masjid activities are still limited. Tarawih prayers inside the masjid will be limited to one hundred congregants and the length of the prayers will be shorter than normal. For these reasons, community members are encouraged to pray Tarawih in their homes, with their own families.
Although the spiritual impact of this limitation on the community is heartbreaking, the life-threatening nature of the Novel Coronavirus is a painful reality that must be acknowledged. The limited Tarawih in the Masjid, at a time when we need it most, may stir up some spiritual emotions and questions in us about the alternative.
Our religion is flexible and always has alternatives and solutions. The Prophet peace be upon him said to a group of his companions who were waiting to join him to pray the Ramadan sunnah prayer (Tarawih), “I have seen and understood what you did. You should pray in your houses, for the best prayer of a person is that which he prays in his house except for the compulsory prayers.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
CIMIC has made arrangements for Tarawih in the Masjid to be viewed online. The link to view Tarawih on YouTube or Facebook directly or CIMIC Live Events Page
The current situation is an opportunity for us to bring more prayers and Quran to our homes and turn our houses into masjids.
O Allah! Make us among those who are blessed with your forgiveness and those who are freed from Hell Fire in this Ramadan. Amin
Have a Blessed Ramadan!

Ramadan-2020 Message

Message from the Imam

“And most certainly We will test you by means of fear, and hunger, and loss of wealth, of lives and of fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are steadfast. Those who, when misfortune befalls them, say, “Verily, unto Allah we belong and, verily, unto Him we shall return”. It is they upon whom [descend] blessings and Mercy from their Lord, and it is they, who are rightly guided!” (Quran 2:155-157).

 

As-salamu Alaykum             

 

I pray that you all and your families are in the best state of health and Iman. 

 

The whole world, as you know, is going through a difficult time due to the spread of Covid-19. The local community, like many communities around the world, has been impacted spiritually, physically and financially by this pandemic. 

 

In view of that, the Champaign County Public Health District has advised that all religious houses of worship remain closed until further notice. Consequently, the Masjid will remain closed in Ramadan and all congregational prayers will continue to be suspended, as required by the local public health authorities. There will be no Taraweeh prayers in the masjid this Ramadan and community members are encouraged to pray Taraweeh in their homes. Although the spiritual impact of this closure on the community is heartbreaking, the life-threatening nature of the Novel Coronavirus is a painful reality that must be acknowledged. 

 

For us, Muslims, complying with the guidelines of the Public Health authorities to limit the spread of this virus and save lives is not just a civic duty, it is, furthermore, a religious duty.  The Prophet peace be upon him one day said while he was circling the Ka’ba, “How pure you are and how pure is your fragrance! How great you are and how great is your sanctity! By the one in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of the believer is greater to Allah than your sanctity.” (Ibn Mājah).

This authentic hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him, means that the life of one single believer has more sanctity than the sanctity of the Ka’ba, which is the center of the holiest mosque in Islam, let alone any other ordinary mosque. 

 

The closure of the Masjid in Ramadan, at a time when we need it most, may stir up some spiritual emotions and questions in us about the alternative. Our religion is flexible and has always alternatives and solutions. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “‏ الأَرْضُ كُلُّهَا مَسْجِدٌ إِلاَّ الْحَمَّامَ وَالْمَقْبُرَةَ ‏”The whole earth is a masjid except public baths and graveyards.” (Abu Dawud). 

This means that the closure of the Masjid should not stop us from taking advantage of the numerous blessings of Ramadan, including Taraweeh prayers which can be performed at home. 

 

This current situation is an opportunity for us to bring more Quran and mercy to our homes and turn our houses into masjids. The Prophet peace be upon him said to a group of his companions who were waiting to join him to pray the Ramadan sunnah prayer (Taraweeh), “I have seen and understood what you did. You should pray in your houses, for the best prayer of a person is that which he prays in his house except for the compulsory prayers.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

This means that we are also following the teachings of the Prophet peace be upon him when we pray Taraweeh in our homes.

 

CIMIC has made sure that the educational and spiritual functions of the Masjid are not interrupted and for that reason, several Zoom accounts were created to continue the Masjid’s mission online. An online Ramadan program is also being prepared by the Ibadaat Committee and will be announced soon.