From the editor:
As we embark on the holy month of Ramadan, the Ya Michigan group would like to congratulate the different communities in Michigan and the world on the season of fasting, wishing everyone a safe and productive Ramadan experience. Ramadan begins around May 17 and ends around June 16, depending on the moon cycle. We prepared this section to share the social and spiritual joy of the community during this holy month with Muslims and non-Muslims and to facilitate as much interaction as possible through print, online and face-to-face.
This year, we have expanded the guide to include a wide variety of valuable information and tips since most people keep the guide for months. We have also worked with several schools, featuring students of different ages, gender and background.
We thank all the schools that worked with us, and the contributors who shared their thoughts and experiences. A special thank you to the sponsors who funded this project. Without their generous support, this guide could not have been possible.
We printed 5,000 copies for distribution in the community, and we will email an electronic version every week during the month of Ramadan for viewing and downloading. We are working with several organizations to maximize our electronic reach to up to 32,000 people. If you like additional copies, please call 313-819-0101.
Sponsors include: Kroger, Papaya Fruit Market, The Signature Group Reality, Xpress Freight Forwarding, Hometown Group Realty, Manessa Agency, LLC, Marian Khalaf, Infiniti One Group, Hype Athletics, Dave Abdallah, Red Effect, Access, Sal’s Pizza, House2Home Inspection Services, Care Pediatrics, Ali Beydoun, Lava Lounge, N.J. Diamonds, Yogurtown, Fairlane Carwash, Abbas Khalil, Wayne County Commissioner candidate Sam Baydoun,, Byblos Banquet, Betsy’s Bride and Formal, Royal Services Plus, Venture Title Agency, Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree, Super Greenland-Dearborn Heights, Evergreen Pharmacy and First Impression.
Contributors include: Imam Ibrahim Kazorooni, Sayyid M. B. Kashmiri, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, Father George Shalhoub, Imad Hammad, Dr. Mohammad Ajjour, Productivemuslims.com, Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Glenn Maleyko, Dr. Hoda Amine, Susan Carland, Universal Learning Academy, Dreamy Islamic Academy, Tom Rusco, Dearborn Police Department, and American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
Yamichigan.com is the fastest growing digital business magazine in the Middle Eastern American Communities in Michigan, serving Wayne, Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw counties. Since 2012, we have focused our news delivery on cellphones and tablets. Our popular website features business, policy, real estate market, food and community news and information, and our effective e-newsletter reaches thousands of readers every Tuesday. We are proud of our services to the community, and we thank our sponsors for their support. Thank you for your trust in Ya Michigan, and we ask you kindly to support us and work together to serve our communities.
Ramadan, the month of fast, peace, giving and mercy
What: Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It begins with the sighting of the new moon or at the beginning of the lunar month.
How: Fasting is a total abstention from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activities from dawn until dark. On the spiritual side, Muslims are asked to avoid immoral behavior and anger and show compassion.
Purpose: The intention of fasting is to develop spiritual consciousness, self-control and improvement of health by reducing or eliminating impurities from the body. It also includes becoming aware of the plight of the poor, hungry and sick. It is a month of spiritual awareness and of a high sense of social responsibility.
Who: All healthy Muslims must observe the fasting season. The sick, travelers, children and others are exempted from fasting and can make up the fast at later days. Consult with your imam on the conditions of breaking the fast and whether your children should fast during these long summer days.
Components: Most Muslims wake up before dawn for suhoor to eat before the fast begins. They break fast with a meal at night and allocate time for prayers and supplications during the day.
End of Ramadan festival: At the end of the month, Muslims observe Eidul-Fiter, which is a Thanksgiving Day for Muslims for completing the month of fast and renewing their spiritual connection. It is a major holiday and it includes family gatherings, visitations, gifts and celebrations.
The Power of Prayers
For years now, prayers and meditation have been linked to many physiological benefits, but when prayer and fasting are combined, they improve the results. Here are some of the benefits:
- Relief of depressed mood Foreseeing and avoiding anger
- Improved decision making ability
- Heightening the facility to communicate with God and to meditate
- Identification with religious hierarchy
- Fewer physical complaints
- Higher sense of well-being for cancer patients
- Increased positive contributions from their cancer experience
- Improved mobility for Muslims with arthritis who prayed during the month of Ramadan
- Improved mental health.
Maintaining athletic performance during Ramadan
The focus of Ramadan is clearly spiritual but you don’t want to neglect your health and your exercise routine. The following are only recommendations to maintain athletic performance during Ramadan. Consult with your doctor before embarking on any programs.
Intense, even moderate, exercise while fasting is not recommended for the general population due to risk of dehydration and hypoglycemia.
There is lots of information available on the Internet about intermittent fasting and exercise. Most of this information is based on personal experiences and is anecdotal and sometimes refers to fasts where water intake is not limited, so be cautious in taking such advice.
Professional athletes are lean and have finely tuned fitness machines with optimal nutritional diets, support from experienced coaches and a career that depends on exercise. We don’t. So save your training until after breaking the fast and always keep hydrated.
- The best time to do weights is between sunset and sunrise, after having broken the fast with a light meal and then eating again after training. You should reduce the duration and intensity of workout, be flexible and keep hydrated.
- Cardio can be done after a light iftar or 1-2 hours after a heavier meal. Pre-suhoor is another possible workout time though perhaps only for the highly motivated. Too much cardio will increase the chances of muscle breakdown, so reduce the intensity, frequency and duration of the workout. Walk instead of jog if needed. A maximum of 30 minutes is still beneficial. Alternatively, if you are already used to high-intensity training, you could opt to do a 10 minute burst of high-intensity training.
Use Ramadan to work on aspects of fitness you normally don’t have time for: yoga for flexibility, Pilates for posture and core strength or tai chi for focus and balance.
- Only low-intensity physical activities like a gentle walk, gentle yoga or stretching, can be done 30 minutes before breaking the fast. Beginners and fitness fanatics alike may find this particularly re-energizing though be wary of going outdoors in the heat as you will already be dehydrated and low in blood sugars.
- If you do decide to exercise, do not put yourself at risk of injury or exhaustion by doing too much, too often. Ensure you have adequate sleep, be flexible, keep hydrated and stop when you need to. Consult your doctor before exercising.
الدين حسن المعاملة
يحكى أن امرأة مرت على مجلس فقالت : من الفقيه فيكم ؟؟
فأشاروا إلى أحدهم
فقالت له : كيف تأكل ؟؟
فقال لها : أسمّي باسم الله وآكل بيميني وآكل مما يليني وأصغّر اللقمة وأجيد المضغة
فقالت له : وكيف تنام ؟
قال : أتوضأ وأنام على جنبي الأيمن وأقرأ وردي من الأذكار
فقالت : أنت ﻻ تعرف أن تأكل وﻻ تعرف أن تنام
فنظر لها مستغربًا !
وقال لها : إذًا كيف الأكل والنوم ؟
فقالت له : ﻻيدخل بطنك حرامٌ ، وكل كيف شئت ، وﻻ يكن في قلبك غلٌّ على أحد ونم كيف شئت . وما أخبرتني به هو أدب الشيء ، وما أخبرتك به هو جوهر الشيء وحقيقته.
كثيرٌ من الناس يبالغ في مظهره من خنق عنقه بزرةقمیص وإطلاق اللِّحَى ولكنه لا يتحقق بالجوهر وما أدراك ما الجوهر؟وأزيد لم ينبهر المسلمون بملابس الرسول الكريم ، ولا بمطعمه ، ولا بمشربه ، لكنهم انبهروا بعظيم أخلاقه ، وطيب سيرته ، وحسن أدبه ، ولين معاملته ، فحوّلهم من أمة ترعى الغنم ، الى أخرى تقود الأمم ، فالدين حسن المعاملة!
Five healthy foods for Ramadan
Dates contain a unique blend of glucose and fructose and have a very high potassium content (about 64% more than bananas). They have a nutrient called beta-D-glucan, which is a soluble fiber that has health benefits and can increase the feeling of fullness.
Raw, unfiltered honey contains many phytochemicals and flavonoids that can enhance health. Honey is very good for increasing energy. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and has anti-bacterial effects. Take 1-2 tablespoons daily.
Fish has positive effects on health. The fish oils EPA and DHA have been shown to improve brain function, enhance cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation, among other things. Some of the best fish are cold water wild salmon, orange roughy, deep sea cod, sea bass, ahi tuna, mahi mahi, and tilapia.
Figs contain key minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They are also a great source of fiber and can support healthy blood sugar levels.
Olive oil contains omega 9 or oleic fatty acids and has been shown to increase good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. Look for extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed). Cooking with it can lower some of its benefits. Add it to food after it is cooked.
The content of this article is for information purposes only. Please consult a physician before starting any nutrition, training, or supplementation program. – Online research.
Health benefits of fasting, medical and psychological
By Dr. Mohamed Ajjour M.D. FACC
Fasting offers many health benefits including:
- Eliminating of toxins in the body: Most processed foods contain additives, which may become toxins and are later stored in a form of body fat. By fasting, the fat is burned and the toxins are eliminated.
- Resolving inflammatory response: Fasting promotes the resolution of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, skin diseases such as psoriasis, and bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.
- Reducing blood sugar: Fasting increases the breakdown of sugar, and reduces the production of insulin.
- Increasing fat breakdown: When the amount of sugar in the body is low, fat is broken down, which releases energy.
- Correcting high blood pressure: Fasting is a non-drug method to reduce blood pressure and the risk of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries).
- Promoting rapid weight loss: By fasting, the storage of fats in the body is reduced. However, fasting is not a good long-term weight loss strategy.
- Boosting immunity: A balanced diet along with the elimination of toxins and a reduction in fats as well as an increase in fruit intake has been shown to boost immunity.
- Overcoming addictions: Fasting plays a key role in helping addicts to reduce their cravings for nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, as well as other substances.
- Pregnant women, nursing mothers, malnourished people, and individuals with heart, kidney or liver problems should consult their physicians before fasting.
Other Health Benefits include boosting the immune system by motivating the stem cells to promote regeneration of damaged tissues and promote healing of organs that may have been damaged by chemotherapy. It could also benefit elderly people who have poor health and are affected by various diseases by prompting the creation of new white blood cells, regenerating the immune system.
Note: This article is intended for informational use only. This is not medical advice, and readers are urged to consult their doctors before fasting.
Other benefits of fasting
- It helps one to feel compassion for those who are less fortunate and underprivileged, since each day Muslims feel greater appreciation for what they have as a result of feeling hunger and thirst.
- It allows one to build a sense of self-control and willpower, which can be beneficial throughout life in dealing with temptations and peer pressure. Through fasting, Muslims learn to control their natural urges such as hunger and thirst, and thus are able to better resist temptations for things which are not necessary, such as drugs or other unhealthy or harmful substances and behaviors.
- It offers a time for Muslims to “purify” their bodies as well as their souls, by developing a greater sense of humility, spirituality and community. Ramadan is a very spiritual time for Muslims, and often they invite each other to one another’s homes to break the fast and pray together. A greater sense of generosity and forgiveness is also characteristic of this time.
Dr. Glenn Maleyko,
Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent
Around the world, and right here in our community, Muslims are prepared to begin the month of Ramadan. This month of fasting, charity and prayer is also a time of family gatherings and the sharing of meals. These activities strengthen one’s faith but they also help to strengthen our community.
As Dearborn Public Schools superintendent, I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and connect with many people and organizations in our community. I enjoy sharing in the celebrations and appreciate the warm welcome I always receive.
Our district always has, and always will, embrace and champion diversity, equality and education for all. Our staff members, students, families and the community we serve all contribute to make up who we are as an educational institution. The sharing of our knowledge, skills, backgrounds and experiences strengthens our schools, helps our community to grow and provides a solid foundation for tomorrow’s leaders.
We are committed to student success and providing an open door to their educational and professional goals. This long-standing commitment is woven throughout our Mission Statement, values, policies, services, and daily practices.
More than 20,900 students attend the Dearborn Public Schools. Our students and their families represent the many cultures, nationalities and religions that make up the great city of Dearborn. We are proud to be part of a community where so many can practice their faith in freedom and with the understanding of neighbors. School is about learning and learning takes place at all times, not just in the classroom. Learning about other cultures, traditions and religions helps to bring us closer together as a community and strengthens us as a city.
Estate planning is for everyone, rich and poor
Most people think that estate planning is for rich people. It is not. Estate planning is for everyone. Islam mandates that you plan for the unexpected. Estate planning goes even further. It deals with your assets, your family, your wishes and your body. Here are some benefits to estate planning according to wealthcousel.com:
Include instructions for passing on your values (religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables.
Include instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die.
Name a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children.
Provide for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits.
Provide for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce.
Include life insurance to provide for your family at your death; disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury; and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury.
Provide for the transfer of your business at your retirement or in case of disability or death.
Minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees.
Be an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situation, and the law, change over your lifetime.
– Online Research
Habits of happy people, forget, forgive, give thanks
Are you happy? Can you increase your happiness?
Here are a few habits that, if you adopt them, will enhance your happiness.
Positive attitude is the number one cause of happiness. Having a positive attitude and smiling often will help you deal with life better and attract more people to you.
Be inspired by, not jealous of, those around you who are successful. Success is not a coincidence, and being inspired by others’ success will propel you forward.
Don’t play the blame game. Bad things happen to everyone. Take responsibility and deal with your problems. Besides, no one wants to hear bad stories.
Exercise blasts stress. Nothing conquers stress like exercise. It boosts your body and your mood and fosters positive energy.
Forgive and forget. It is sometimes not easy to forgive or forget, but forgiving means moving on and starting a new chapter in your life. You owe it to yourself. Life is too short.
Forget about the past. Some people remember years of sorrow. It only wrinkles their faces and hearts. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
Give thanks. Focusing on your sorrow makes you forget your blessings. Most likely you are a lot more blessed than you think, and all you need to do is to count your blessings. Draw a line on a piece of paper and put your blessings on one side and your sorrows on the other. You will be surprised that no matter how bad life is treating you, your blessings are at least twice as many as your challenges.
– Online research
Know your rights
If you are stopped by immigration or law enforcement officers, it is important that you cooperate, but you still need to know your rights. The American Civil Liberties Union provides the following information to help you understand your rights.
Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights:
You have a right to remain silent and can assert this right by stating: “I choose to remain silent.”
You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings.
Ask if you’re free to leave. If they say yes, calmly walk away.
If you are taken into custody, ask to speak to an attorney immediately and assert your right to remain silent.
Keep your hands where the police can see them.
Do not run, resist or obstruct the police even if you are innocent or they are violating your rights.
Do not lie or give false information, including about your immigration status.
If you are approached by immigration (ICE or CBP) on the street, in your car, or in other public spaces:
U.S. citizens: You do not have to show proof of your citizenship or answer questions about where you were born or how you entered the country. You may choose to remain silent.
Non-U.S. citizens: You should show your immigration papers to a requesting officer if you have them. If you do not have them, state that you want to remain silent. (Note: Separate rules apply at international borders and airports, and if you are on certain nonimmigrant visas, including tourists and business travelers. Please contact the ACLU for more information.)
If FBI agents ask to question or interview you:
You have the right to refuse to be interviewed, even if they have a warrant.
You have the right to speak with an attorney and have an attorney present before answering questions, even if you didn’t do anything wrong.
If the police, FBI, or immigration officers come to your house:
Ask them to show you a warrant:
You do not have to let them into your home unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. Immigration officers (ICE) may have a document that says “warrant” or “warrant for arrest of an alien.” If the document is signed by an ICE representative, but not a judge, you do not have to speak with them or let them in.
You still do not have to speak to them and may want to talk to an attorney even if the officers present a warrant signed by a judge. If you choose to speak with them, step outside your home and close the door (unless they have a search warrant to enter the home).
An arrest warrant signed by a judge will allow them to enter if they think the person they are arresting is inside the home.
A search warrant signed by a judge will allow them into specific areas or allow them to look for specific items listed on the warrant.
If you are returning to the U.S. at an airport or at an international border:
1- Customs officers can stop you at the border or ports of entry and search your belongings, even without any suspicion of wrongdoing. However, they cannot target you simply because of your religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or political beliefs.
If you are a U.S. citizen and present a passport, you do not have to answer their questions, though refusing could result in a delay.
If you are not a U.S. citizen and you refuse to answer questions, you may be denied entry. If you choose to answer questions, be truthful.
You do not have to answer questions about your political opinions or religious beliefs or practices. You can request to see a supervisor.
2 – Customs officers may ask to search electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones. Whether officers have the authority to search these devices without any suspicion or a warrant is currently a contested legal issue.
U.S. citizens: You may refuse to provide passwords or unlock devices. While doing so may lead to a delay, lengthy questioning and/or your device being held for further inspection, you cannot be denied entry.
Non-U.S. citizens: You may be denied entry into the U.S. for not providing this information.
This information is not intended as legal advice. Some state laws may vary.
If you believe your rights have been violated or for more information, contact your local ACLU at http://www.aclumich.org/ or (313) 578-6800.
Best food, eating practices for the month of Ramadan
For iftar: This is the time for rehydration. The best way to break fast is with dates and water. Dates have a very high level of potassium, a key hydration mineral and a special carbohydrate blend that enhances hydration along with a special blend of glucose and fructose for short- and long-term energy.
It is a good practice to break fast first and wait an hour before eating the main meal of iftar. At the same time, avoid fried food if you can and drink a lot of water.
One thing to remember is that by eating a small meal at night, you can cause your body to speed up metabolism, increase nutrient absorption and stabilize insulin and blood sugar level.
For suhoor, it is important to drink lot of water and eat a good blend of protein, carbohydrates and essential fat. Food for suhoor includes: egg white, chicken breast, oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas, raw dark honey, raisins or dates, fibrous vegetables and plenty of water. Consult your doctor for vitamins and other supplements.