Houstonian Corner (V13-I49)

ISGH Elections at Main Center this Coming Sunday December 04th – 9AM-4PM

The largest one community Islamic Organization in USA, the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH), has elections for various office bearers every year. Usually the last Sunday of November is Early Voting Day and first Sunday of December is actual Voting Day.

This time after several years some of the positions have only one candidate and also some persons, who used to hold higher positions in previous years, are up as candidates for minor level positions. These trends show lack of interest in the newer generation and fresh blood to become office bearers of ISGH.

Last Sunday, at the Main Center, ISGH Members came out to vote early despite extremely cold and windy weather. This year is Vice President and Treasurer Election Year 2011, while next year will be President and General Secretary Election Year 2012.

Chairman of ISGH Election Commission Azam Akhtar (www.ISGH.Org) has informed that this year, the elections are for these positions (here underneath IC means Islamic Center):
Vice President (Fuad Cochinwala elected unopposed);

Treasurer (Aftab Silat elected unopposed);

Director, Northwest Zone (Nasrattullah Attaie, Matloob Khan);

Associate Director, NW – Bear Creek IC (Mohammad Yousuf, Nusrat Mir);

Director, Southeast Zone Director (Abdool F. Rasheed, Emran Gazi, Manzoor Ali);

Associate Director, NO – Champions IC (Imran Nathani, Taher Hamid Abu Dawood, Shiraz Chohan);

Associate Director SW – New Territory IC (Rafiq Bhojwani, Jonaid Ahmed);

Director, South Zone (Irfan Bhardi elected unopposed);

Associate Director, NO – Adel Road IC (Ibrahim Badat elected unopposed);

Associate Director, NO – Woodlands IC (Ayman Khalil elected unopposed);

Associate Director, SW – Synott Road IC (Naeem Khan elected unopposed);

Associate Director, SW – Mission Bend IC (Usman Vaid elected unopposed);

Associate Director, SE – Baytown IC (Muhammad A. Malhi elected unopposed);

Area Representatives for all Islamic Centers (Masajid) of all Zones (several candidates)

PCC-USA: Positive Sign – At Last There May Be Elections on December 21st, 2011

Pakistan Chamber of Commerce USA (PCC-USA) is a leading association of Pakistani entrepreneurs in USA, with Chapters in Houston, San Diego, and New York. Fifty founding members Advisory Council, under the leadership of Dr. Ashraf Abbasi, established PCC-USA as a premier business organization in Houston, Texas, on August 14, 1997 to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Pakistan Independence Day.

This Year 2011 may become the first, when some of the office bearers of PCC-USA will be elected after actual voting, as in the past, usually all the executive council positions used to be filled with only one nominated persons; and as such elected unopposed.

December 06th is the last day to withdraw the name from nominations and our correspondent has learned that this year, there is every chance that at least on three positions, there will be elections (of course if names are withdrawn, there will be no elections).

According to the communiqué received from Rashid Khokhar, Chairman PCC-USA Election Commission (other members being GulFaraz Khan and Zubair Ashraf), elections are for these PCC-USA positions will be held at the annual meeting of Wednesday, December 21st, 2011, with opportunity to withdraw the names by 11pm., Tuesday, December 06th, 2011:

President-Elect: Khalid Kazi and Zafar Mansuri;

Senior Vice President: Sheikh Muhammad Awais and Pervez Iqbal;

Director Finance: Ch. Mahmood Ahmed & Asif Ehsan;

Vice President – Administration: Nargis F. Ahmed (Unopposed);

Vice President – Liaison: Mian Aziz (Unopposed);

Vice President – Marketing: Zaki Mohammed Mirza (Unopposed);

Vice President – Media Relations: Mumtaz Khan (Unopposed);

General Secretary: Abdur Rauf Khan (Unopposed);

Joint Secretary: Iqbal Akhtar (Unopposed)…


Houstonian Corner (V12-I1)

AMJA Seminar: “Muslim Family in USA”

Houston, Texas: Several hundred Muslim families this past Saturday attended the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) Free One-Day Educational Seminar on “Muslim Family in USA” at the recently constructed beautiful Norris Conference Center in Town Center (I-10 and BW 8).

Program was divided into four parts: Adults, Adolescents, Youngsters, and Children. Various contemporary issues related to family values, marriage, youth, etc. were discussed in details. Topics included: “Organized Konfusion”; “The Hollywood Effect”; “Choosing One’s Spouse”; Goals, Purpose and Definition of Marriage”; Spouses’ Rights and Duties; Marital Discord and Establishing a Happy Family; “Nominal Marriage and Nominal Divorce”; and others.

Some of the famous scholars present on the occasion were: Dr. Salah AL-Sawi, Secretary General of AMJA & President of Shariah Academy of America; Dr. Main Al-Qudah, Imam MAS Katy Center & Assistant Professor Shariah Academy; Dr. Mwafak Ghalayeny, Imam the Islamic Center of Grand Blank City Michigan & Faculty Member of Islamic American University; Dr. Hatem AL-Haj, Board Certified Pediatrician & Dean of Shariah Academy; Dr. Waleed Edrees Meneese, Vice-Chairman of North American Imams Federation & Vice-President of Islamic University of Minnesota; Dr. Waleed Basyouni, Imam Clear Lake Islamic Center; Dr. Mohamed Na’em Saey, Professor of Jurisprudence; Shaikh Moustafa Mahmoud Imam ISGH; Michael Fjetland of Islam in Spanish; Imam Yahya Gant of ISGH; Shaikh Abdul Aziz Aboulhassan Imam ISGH; and many others.

For getting more information including DVD of the various presentations, one can visit www.AMJAOnline.Org

Houston Helping Hand to Send Container for Needy Pakistanis

Houston, Texas: With the dedicated & constant help and support of International Courier Services, and Volunteers of Dr. Saleha Khumawala, the Helping Hand For Relief & Development (HHRD), is ready to send a Container for the Needy to Pakistan from Houston. HHRD has sent the following appeal:

You can donate new or used household items like kitchenware, bed sheets, comforters, blankets, leather jackets, sweaters, towels, bikes, toys, wheel chairs, crutches, pots and pans, dishes, rugs, carpet, computers, printers, clothes, shoes, accessories, basically everything that’s in good useable condition. No junk or unusable items please!!! We need to maximize the valuable shipping space. Since the task is such an enormous one we need your cooperation in sorting and packing the items you donate in the following way:

1) Separate winter and summer clothing;
2) Use separate boxes for clothing for women and children. NO western suits for women;
3) Tie shoes/sandals pairs to ensure that they stay together;
4) For sets of shalwar-kameez tightly fold and secure the set;
5) Fitted/flat sheets, comforters, quilts, towels etc. should be tightly rolled and secured;
6) All household items in separate boxes from clothes etc.;
7) In addition please make a donation of any amount ($50-$100) you can to help cover shipping, port clearing and distribution costs.

The check should be made payable to: Helping Hand For Relief & Development (tax-deductible receipt will be issued): Checks can be mailed to: 11945 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 77099.

Please sort everything as instructed and pack in separate boxes and mark the contents on the outside with a marker (DONOT seal /tape the boxes).

HHRD cannot accept any appliances or food.

Please take all your stuff in boxes and DROP off on: Saturday and Sunday – January 16 & 17, 2010 – Between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the following location.
ICS Shipping Co.; 6160 Westview Dr.; Houston, Texas 77055; (713) 688-4599

DIRECTIONS to ICS Shipping:  From Inside the 610 loop; Go on I-10 west; Exit Silber Street; Make a right turn on Silber; Make a right on Westview, go about ¼ mile; 6160 Westview is on the left; (281) 793-8455 cell  Khurram Iqbal.

We need at least 30 Volunteers on January 16 and 17, 2010. Please call us and let us know which day you can help. For any other questions please call: Maaz Adil (281) 468-2238- Rana Farooqui (713) 453-8388 (after 4 p.m.).


Houstonian Corner (V11-I47)

ICNA – ISGH – & – Hafiz Tauqer Shah Provided Alternative to the Muslim Families

Picture AB “Human-Beings have been created better than anything else and God has informed us about this in Quran. As such there is no need to turn one-selves into a monster by doing face painting and wearing devilish clothes. Even going out to play game of trick and treat, it is not safe, since one does not know who is giving what inside the candy cover. Muslims need to stay away from such hazardous events. Safe way is to come to Masjid, establish prayers, while Masjid and other community organizations should organize some fun activities within the safe premises. This is what this event is all about, which represents that just barring Youth from certain activities, without giving proper substitutes within the bounds as stipulated by Islam, is no solution.”

These were the approximate sentiments of Hafiz Tauqer Shah, as he talked on “Halloween Night” to a large gathering of Youth, parents and community members at Masjid At-Taqwa located along Synott Road in Sugar Land. Instead of being on the streets, hundreds of Youth and others gathered in the Masjid, were able to establish Mughrib and Isha Prayers together; had fun activities including rides, basketball, etc.; and had dinner together.

This program was part of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Houston Chapter effort within the Nationwide “Save Family – Save Society Campaign”. It was a collaborative effort of ICNA Houston and Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH). This Campaign was held between September 21 and October 31, 2009 by ICNA.
Idea is that the family is the most fundamental unit of society – it is the cornerstone and the foundational unit of the social, cultural and religious structure of our world. It is a divinely inspired and ordained institution that came into existence with the creation of man. The family unit is an important component of Islam, and all elements of a family are given due significance – from parents to children to spouses to kith and kin. A sound family can grow and flourish only if man, woman and children are bound in a solid relationship of love, care, compassion and kindness, which has far-reaching results, bringing progress, prosperity and tranquility in the society.

Earlier inspirational speaker Samid AL-Khatib of ICNA Houston Chapter talked about preserving the institution of family, as without that, we cannot build a nice and strong society around us. For more information about ICNA Houston, one can call 713-201-8080 or visit www.ICNA.Org

Jam-Packed Cullen Performance Hall Saw Loose Talk 2: Exploded With Laughter

The much awaited “Loose Talk 2: Loose Mushaira” featuring legendary figures like TV Producer and Script Writer Anwar Maqsood; Comedians Qazi Wajid; Moin Akhtar; Behroz Sabzwari; Shehzad Raza; & Ayaz Khan; came to Houston this past weekend through the immense efforts of young Nabeel Ishaq and Rehan Ahmed of Naya Andaz Radio, which is aired worldwide on www.YouAreOnAir.Com and in Houston at 1460AM Radio Frequency every Saturday 1pm.-5pm. and Sunday 5pm.-10pm. (US Central Time). Program also included some old and golden songs from Pakistan sung, by Sadia Malik and Aziz Warsi.

As promised by the organizers, this program did indeed became one of the biggest Pakistani vents of 2009, as almost every single seat was occupied at the Cullen Performance Hall of University of Houston and Hall Staff had to politely usher some people out of the Hall, since standing along the walls and on the stairs was not allowed.

The poetry presented during the “Loose Talk 2: Loose Mushaira” was absolutely hilarious. Written mainly by Anwar Maqsood, it was presented in a most jovial manner by Qazi Wajid; Moin Akhtar; Behroz Sabzwari; Shehzad Raza; & Ayaz Khan. Several poetries were presented in the rhythm of several well-known poems of prominent poets and also some famous songs of films from the subcontinent.

Topics included change in the White House; social, political and cultural problems facing Pakistan and Pakistanis; security and terrorism issues facing the world and Pakistan (a wish was called out to in a film’s song beat for Osama to come out of his hiding place, as we have waited too long now and this may avoid the killings of so many innocent people); and several other contemporary topics were included. The best part was that program was full of comedy, which was not baseless, but had a strong message behind everything for people to understand.

Audience was very receptive and for a change very cultured (except for a few things said by a few people here and there). Anwar Maqsood said that Houston to him is just like any other city of Pakistan, as people give full respect to the performers by listening attentively and giving complete appreciation. Moin Akhtar said that he always prayed for the Houstonians as they have given him much love each time he has come here. Behroz Sabzwari; Shehzad Raza; & Ayaz Khan said they feel blessed and have gained immense conviction the way people have laughed and given ovation to them.

Birthday of one of the main organizers Rehan Ahmed was celebrated on stage with the legends around him. Our media was one of the prod sponsors of this most well-organized program. Presenters, audiences and international promoter of the program Shaam Chhabria were all most satisfied and happy with the hard work of Nabeel, Rehan and their team of volunteers.

Our media wants to congratulate Naya Andaz Team on job well done and would like them to bring similar shows, which has both the elements of entertainment and learning.


Houstonian Corner (V11-I40)

Astounding ‘Eid-ul-Fitr Celebrations as ISGH Organized Eid Prayers at GRBCC

Picture Q As per last week’s prediction by Pakistan Publications Inc., hundreds and thousands of Muslims thronged George R. Brown Convention Center (GRBCC). According to an estimate, more than 30,000 Muslims of all faces and facets of life responded this last Sunday, September 20, 2009, to the call of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) and attended ‘Eid-ul-Fitr prayers at the GRBCC. The prayer hall overflowed, and thousands had to stay outside due to fire-code regulations’ and were accommodated in a subsequent prayer.

Pakistan Publications Inc. extends Heartiest Congratulations and Kudos to the ISGH for organizing such a mammoth gathering in the most efficient and effective manner.

The Special Supplications and Presence Slogans (called the Takbeerats of Eid-ul-Fitr Prayers) by the attendees thundered in the hall since before 8:00am., while thousands of impressively dressed people in traditional dresses of almost the whole world, like the Far-East Australasia; South Asia India – Bangladesh – Sri Lanka – Pakistan; Middle East; Africa; Europe; and the Americas; made their ways through every door and into the Hall.

The meaning of these is Takbeerats is as follows : “Allah is Great, Allah is Great: There is no one worthy of prayer but Allah, and Allah is Great; Allah is Great, All praise be to Allah, It is He Who Guides.”

These Takbeerats continued for about one-hour, when around 9:00am. Shaikh Omar Inshanally, Imam at the ISGH Main Center Masjid, stood up to lead the prayers, which includes Seven Extra Calls of Allah is Great (Allahu-Akbar in Arabic) during the First Phase (called Rakat) and Five Extra Calls of Allah is Great (Allahu-Akbar in Arabic) during the Second Phase (called Rakat) of the Prayers.

During these Two Phased Eid-ul-Fitr Prayers, Shaikh Omar Inshanally recited from the passages of Quran that convey Allah’s unfathomable love for believers; remind believers of the inevitability of an end of everyone’s earthly life & the ultimate destination in front of Allah; and that Allah forgives all sins of those who sincerely repent and uplift their morality. Without exception, those interviewed after the prayer said that they felt deeply moved, and complimented the Imam’s Recitation (called Qiraa’at in Arabic) – The choice of passages, fluency, voice control, and mellifluousness.

After the prayers, ISGH President Dr. Aziz Ahmad Siddiqi provided in a positive fashion the State of Affairs of ISGH and the Muslim Community in the Greater Houston Region. He cited several major developments that whoever will seek, will benefit many, regardless of ethnic background or country of origin. President also mentioned that this year the ISGH membership has experienced an unprecedented growth of more than 25 percent. It was nice that Dr. Siddiqi’s presentation was not long and contained linguistic beauty.

Houston Mayor Bill White also addressed the audience, noting the size and importance of the local Muslim community. Mr. White is seeking higher state office, and a positive impression on him could be to the advantage of Muslims. The Chairman of the ISGH ‘Ulema Committee, Shaikh Abdul ‘Aziz of the Brand Lane Masjid also graced the occasion.

After the prayers and addresses the crowd filled the air with mutual bright smiles, cordial ‘Eid greetings, and warm expressions of love and unity. This all made for a truly awe-inspiring ‘Eid-ul-Fitr celebration organized by the ISGH. For more information, one can visit

Farouk Shami to Run For Texas Governor

Picture R He is the famous Houston hair-care millionaire Farouk Shami (originally from Palestine), seriously considering a run for Governor as a Democrat. He has already appointed a Treasurer, but has not yet filed papers.

At his Annual Ramadan Dinner at the Arab Cultural Center (ACC) Houston, the 66 year old Shami asked hundreds gathered if he should run or not and he got a tremendous “Yes,” with everyone standing and clapping.

One may recall that Farouk Shami first got some attention in the political arena during 2006 governor’s race, when as his business partner; he supported the independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.

Farouk Shami got much appreciation last month for his decision to move 5,000 jobs from Asian manufacturing plants in China to Texas over the next five years to manufacture his famous hair-care products of BioSilk and CHI brands. He invented ammonia-free hair color products, was the official hair care sponsor of the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and has sales that top $1 billion a year.

Farouk Shami in an inspiring speech said that Texas needs a change and he through his entrepreneurial spirit will bring fresh ideas to increase the tax base, create new jobs of the future, brings dignified healthcare for all, and make Texas the best place to live in the USA.


Houstonian Corner (V11-I39)

ISGH President Dr. Aziz Siddiqi at the Holocaust Museum

Picture P Holocaust Museum Houston invited the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) President Dr. Aziz Siddiqi at the opening reception of the Photographic Exhibition called “Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust in Albania”. This Exhibition shows Heart-Melting Kindness and Righteous Determination of Muslim Heroes, who saved Jews during the Holocaust. The Exhibition started on July 17, 2009 and runs through to February 7, 2010.

After his welcoming remarks, Michael Goldberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Holocaust Museum, requested ISGH President Dr. Aziz Siddiqi to speak to the invited guests. Dr. Siddiqi welcomed the opportunity to talk to the guests and acknowledged a strong presence of Muslims in the exhibit reception.

Dr. Aziz Siddiqi said that throughout the Islamic history Muslims have always provided protection to the oppressed. Whenever persecution was carried out against Jews whether it was in Spain, Albania or anywhere else, Muslims were in the forefront to save the lives of innocent Jews. He also cited other examples of Muslims helping Non-Muslims from persecution in other parts of the world. He said, “Muslims practice what they preach” and quoted the Ayah (Verse) of Quran: “……………….And whoever saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the entire people…………..” Holy Quran, Chapter 005 Verse 032.

This Photographic Exhibition “Besa: Muslims Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust Albania”, depicts about this European country with a Muslim majority, that succeeded where other European nations failed in dealing with Nazi Germany. Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation – those of Albanian origin and refugees alike – were saved. In a five-year project, Colorado-based photographer Norman Gershman set out to collect the names of righteous, non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust. He discovered that some of the names were of Albanian Muslims. He then began a quest to meet and photograph the Albanian rescuers or their descendents. During his interviews, when he asked why they had rescued Jews, the resounding response was “Besa” the code of honor deeply rooted in Albanian culture and incorporated in the faith of Albanian Muslims. As Gershman later would explain, “There was no government conspiracy, no underground railroad, no organized resistance of any kind – only individual Albanians, acting alone, to save the lives of people whose lives were in immediate danger. My portraits of these people, and their stories, are meant to reflect their humanity, their dignity, their religious and moral convictions, and their quiet courage.”

Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public. It is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline Street, Houston, Texas 77004. For more information about the Museum, visit or call 713-942-8000.

The New Muslim Cool at ICNA Relief Iftar-&-Dinner

Picture O The Annual Iftar-&-Dinner organized by Islamic Circle of North America Relief (ICNA Relief) was held at Shahnai Restaurant Hillcroft, which was well attended.

Hamza Pérez, famously known as The New Muslim Cool, was the keynote presenter, who in a most emotional and motivational manner informed about the immense need and significance of humanitarian work at grassroots level in America, in which ICNA Relief is at the forefront. Present on the occasion were Ayub Badat, National Director of ICNA Relief; Haseeb Abdali, President of ICNA Houston; Saad Ansari, Director of ICNA Relief Texas; Dr. Aziz Siddiqi, President ISGH; Jaime Mujahid Fletcher, Founder & President of Islam in Spanish; Hashim Badat, Vice-President ISGH; Iqbal Badat Vice-President Pakistani-American Association of Greater Houston (PAGH); and many others. A slide show of all the nationwide projects of ICNA Relief was presented with remarks by Ayub Badat.

ICNA Relief is one of the largest humanitarian services organizations of the Muslims, working solely in USA. At present in Baton Rouge Louisiana and Houston-Galveston Texas, ICNA Relief has received federal grants to provide services to those, who got affected by Hurricane Ike.

The major human and social services work of ICNA Relief at the domestic level in USA is being done only through the assistance provided by the Muslim Community of USA. It includes Emergency Financial Assistance (rent & utility bills assistance; family support; hunger prevention; immigration support and funeral services), Women Temporary Shelter Homes; Domestic Disaster Relief; Medical Clinics; Educational programs; and so on.

For more information and contributions, one can visit: www.ICNARelief.ORg

Rooftop Films has screened Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s film New Muslim Cool, which chronicles the personal journey of Puerto-Rican American rapper Hamza Pérez. He ended life as a drug dealer 12 years ago, and started down a new path as a young Muslim. Now he’s moved to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family, and take his message of faith to other young people through his uncompromising music as part of the hip-hop duo M-Team. But when the FBI raided his mosque, Hamza confronted the realities of the Post-9/11 world.