Friday, December 26, 2008

Abu Dhabi hosts classes for US Muslims

I'm not sure travelling to the UAE is the best way for US Muslims to gain basic Islamic knowledge...

Also, why is helping US Muslims more important than educating converts in the UAE?

Anyone heard of the American Congress of Muslim Youth before?

Would like to find out more about this, but for now, this article is all I know (excerpts below):

A delegation of 21 professional women is the latest group to come to Zayed House for Islamic Culture as guests of the Government-funded institution for a month.

“They are mostly converts or second-generation Muslims. Many Muslims in America do not learn about Islam when they are growing up, and they fall susceptible to many influences,” Khaled al Mazrouei, the head of Zayed House, said.

“Women are the first educators in society so we brought these women, who represent a wide variety of ages, backgrounds and professions – they are all community leaders – and we’re teaching them the moderate and true middle way of Islam.”

The women in the current group, who are attending classes in Arabic and Islamic studies, include a nurse, a university professor and psychologist, a motivational speaker and activist in interfaith dialogue, the director of a shelter for abused women and a university student.

Zayed House used to provide minimal services to Muslim converts in the UAE but last year it started programmes for Muslims worldwide.

In the spring it taught Arabic to a delegation of Malaysian government workers. In December last year, it taught Islamic studies and how to address the needs of Muslims in the West to a group of US imams.

The current programme is run in co-ordination with the Washington DC-based American Congress of Muslim Youth.


Educators at Zayed House found there are many issues the women were unclear about because of the conflicting information they heard at home.

“Some of the things they are not clear on is how to maintain ‘silat al rahm’ with non-Muslim family members,” said Mr al Mazrouei, referring to one of Islam’s most important social pillars, the ‘relationship of the womb’, or family ties.

“Does giving money to non-Muslims count as zakat? And what about giving blood?” Zakat is a charity tax that all Muslims must pay every year.

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