Author Archives: faheemm

Paradise Ave. – MAI Podcast

In today’s fast-paced digital world, podcasts have emerged as a powerful medium, offering unparalleled convenience and accessibility for listeners on the go. For us at the MAI Institute, we hope through a podcast to be able to extend the MAI family, and provide a platform for meaningful conversations. For you our listeners, this means access to insights from our community of practitioners, hearing inspiring stories and practical advice, all available at your fingertips. Whether commuting, exercising, or relaxing at home, a podcast has the potential to empower and enrich our lives, making valuable information easily accessible anytime, anywhere.

MAI Institute invites you to listen / subscribe to Paradise Ave., your guide to living a fulfilling and meaningful life rooted in Islamic principles.

Join us at the MAI Institute as we explore how to navigate the complexities of modern life while staying true to our faith. Our mission is to provide you with the guidance and motivation needed to thrive both in this world and the hereafter by embracing the tenets of Islam.

In each episode, we delve into practical advice and spiritual insights to help you cultivate a life of purpose, peace, and productivity.

  • We tackle pressing issues facing the Muslim community locally in Trinidad and Tobago, throughout the Caribbean, and around the globe.
  • From personal development and family matters to social justice and global events, we address these topics from a mainstream Muslim perspective, offering wisdom and support grounded in our shared faith.

Tune in to Paradise Ave. and embark on a journey of self-improvement and community empowerment. Join us at the MAI Institute and let’s walk together on the path to a better life, for this world and the next.

Follow the link https://maiinstitute.com/podcast

Find it on your favorite podcast platform

…on the Occasion of Arrival Day

To be any Muslim in the Caribbean is to represent the history of the world. Us being here is the result of the world of historical events coming together.

Prophet Muhammad peace be on him delivered the message of Islam in its form in the period 570 to 622. Islam spread to Africa as early as the 600s and later on India in the 1100s. The Mongolian invasions in the 12-1400s had cut much of the trading on the silk routes, and that had some profound effects on us being here. First of all it channeled the spread of Islam through north Africa into southern Europe, and later later it forced the Europeans to find alternative routes to the east – we had Vasco de Gama sailing south in 1450 and Columbus sailing west in 1492.

We would be more familiar with the slave trade which included some Muslim tribes from Africa coming to T&T, and later the Chinese and Indian indentured labourers who brought with them their religions and customs, which they were free to practice. Later migrations result in a rich tapestry of persons that makes up the community as we know it.

Today we stand proud as a cosmopolitan Muslim community, as the product of every major civilization in world history. Africa, India, China, Mesopotamia, Europe…

Looking back, us being here, is a product of the history of world events and of great civilisations. Looking ahead, insha Allah, we too, in our own humble efforts, hopefully can contribute to the march of civilization, and represent Almighty Allah in all that we do, as we strive to live the best life for this world and the next.

Congratulations!

The management, staff, and students of the Markaz Al Ihsaan congratulate our Executive Director Dr. Faheem Mohammed, Son of Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed, for successfully completing his doctorate in Business Administration in Islamic Leadership.

May Almighty Allah continue to shower His mercies and blessings on you and your family and allow us to be amongst those who benefit from the knowledge, wisdom, and guidance that He swt has blessed you with.

آميين

#Congratulations #LearnIslam #livethebestlife #forbothworlds #levelup #maiinstitute

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Limitless Rewards

Ramadan is upon us, and although it may not always feel like it, every day of fasting is a gift from Allah.

We are told in the hadith that Allah says “Every deed of the son of Adam will be given a ten-fold reward, up to seven hundred. Except fasting, for it is for Me, and I shall reward for it, for he gives up his desire and his food for My sake…”. This tells us there is no limit to what rewards we stand to gain from fasting.

So in this month, let us strive to fast for the sake of Allah. Let us control our cravings and desire, our thoughts and temper, and when the difficulties of fasting manifest, let us use that as an opportunity to remember Allah more. And be more willing to sacrifice for Him more.

Through this, we can hope to build a closer relationship with Him. And insha Allah He will give us the best of this world, and the Next.

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Fasting was given to every nation

Greetings to all believers, because the holy month of ramadan is again with us. We pray to Allah to make it easy for all of us who are qualified to keep the fast that we will be able to do so.

Remember Allah reminds us in His Holy words, He says, Wa anta suumu Khairul lakum If you keep the fast it will be better for you.

My brothers and sisters, fasting is a principle of Islam. But it is something that Allah has given to all human beings, because Allah says in the Quran, O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you, as it has been described to all those before you, in order that you may develop piety. So that Muslims should thank Allah that we have been blessed to make the month of Ramadan one of the institutions that will make us better in this world, as well as in the next.

Going Beyond the Material Life

We are in the blessed month of Ramadan, and the month is moving very quickly. We pray to Allah to make it easy for all the believers to keep the fast, and benefit from the blessings that Allah has made available in the short time that is quickly passing, during this blessed month.

We need to keep in mind one very important thing. Allah tells us in the Quran Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you. That is, it is not only for Muslims fasting was prescribed, but it is for everybody. Why?

We must understand that we represent our Lord here on the earth. And we are here for just a short span of time. But the earth will continue, so that, as long as we are here, don’t make the earth your be-all and end-all for everything, but understand that you are using it to get you a better place in the hereafter.

Death is not the end of life, but it is the beginning of a new phase for every human being. And what Satan has done is he makes some people forget that they will be leaving all the materials things behind, and going in the grave with nothing. So that they spend all their time busy with material things, and then only to realise that when death comes, none of these things will be of any importance and value.

The message of Islam is to send something before of the material things of life so that it will benefit you as you go along the journey in the next phase and onwards. And that is fasting on one hand and zakat and charity on the other.

Fasting helps us to develop restraint, and abandon something of the world for the sake of Allah. We feel hungry and thirsty, but we persevere, because we are fasting and following the command of Allah.

Zakaat and charity help us to sacrifice some of what we have in this world for the sake of Allah, and teaches us an important lesson. Don’t hoard all the material things and keep it as though that is your personal possession and only you have the right of it, and no others should benefit from it.

Take care, and Allah will bless you in this life, as well as in the onward journey.

If you abide by the teachings that the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) gave with regards to the distribution of your material assets of life, and you will be taking with you the blessing that come from your generosity on one hand, and your giving of what Allah has bestowed on you on the other.

May Allah make it easy for every one of us to benefit from this life to represent him properly here on earth, and to be blessed with the blessings that come with fasting, and all the requirements that go along with it, as we go along the journey.

May Allah forgive us, have mercy on us, and make the fasting easy for us, and blessed, so that we too can benefit from it in this life and onwards insha Allah.

Ramadan Hack for Your Physical and Mental Health

Almighty Allah tells us in the Quran 2:184 You should fast it is better for you.

We are told that fasting holds the promise of limitless rewards. Today we are discovering in the science of intermittent fasting that some of these rewards are immediate and for our personal benefit.

  • Physically fasting helps to stabilize our blood sugar, our blood pressure, and even weight. It helps with cellular repair, brain and heart health. The shock to the physical system of not eating and drinking for the day puts our bodies on reset.
  • Mentally it helps with cognition and learning, stress reduction, mental resilience and clarity, neuroplasticity, and even helps to reduce onset of neurodegenerative diseases. The mindset we gain from fasting helps us to evaluate our priorities and stresses.
  • Morally it forces us to be mindful of our behaviors – what we think, what we say, what we do. How we treat others and respond to provocation. We don’t want to spoil the fast by engaging in improper conduct.
  • Spiritually we obey the command of Allah, make sacrifices for His sake, and through these He brings us even closer to Him. We become more God-conscious, and are assured of the promise of limitless rewards.

So we are being commanded to do something that entails sacrifice, but is beneficial for us physically, mentally, morally, spiritually…

Allah confirms this in the Quran 2:185 Allah intends ease for you and not hardship.

I pray we see each day as the gift that it is, and make full use of every opportunity during the month and afterwards to be good, do good, think good, control baser instincts, and become stronger physically, mentally, morally and spiritually. In so doing we can hope to live the best life, for both worlds.

Ramadan Mubarak from Markaz al Ihsaan – The MAI Institute.

Showing Love to Almighty Allah

Surah Baqarah verse 165 says… “Those who believe love Allah the most.” This love of the believers for Almighty Allah is described in the Quran as ashaddu hubban – the most immense love.

How we will know that we love Allah with that level of love? The holy month of Ramadan provides us the opportunity to feel, improve increase and demonstrate this love for our creator. We as believers become a portrait of Allah’s love throughout the holy month – when we stop doing many things we like to do in our normal life for His pleasure. In fact the practice of fasting is a way to say: Oh Almighty Allah we love You the most.

As the month of Ramadan begins, we start to sacrifice our nightly rest by standing in Taraweeh salaat which is a prayer of long duration.

Then we get up early in the morning, sacrificing our sleep and our sweet dreams, to obey the command of our Lord. Only passion of love can make this happen.

During the daylight hours, we stop eating delicious foods and block ourselves from sipping cold water and sweet drinks even though we feel hungry or thirsty because we love Allah and we want Him to be pleased with us.

Giving charity and sharing food also certifies that our love for Allah has priority over love for the material world.

Through all these acts of worship, we crave to prove to Our Most Merciful Lord that we love Him the most. Our body language keeps expressing day and night; Oh our Lord we love You so much that we can sacrifice our desires, our sweet dreams, our tastes and physical needs for your sake.

Dear brothers and sisters, after working hard throughout the holy month of Ramadan to earn the spiritual wealth of Allah’s love we should keep it protected and alive until we meet Him.

And remember to ask yourself that if I can restrain myself from Halal for Allah’s love than why should not I get over the Haram?

Eid Mubarak to you and yours, from Mufti 
Chishtie, and Markaz al Ihsaan.

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Changes in Governance

[Trinidad, April 2024] – The Markaz al Ihsaan (MAI Institute) wishes to announce changes in its leadership and operational address to better serve its mission and community.

Please be advised that Haji Imtiaz Edoo is no longer on the Board of Directors of MAI. We extend our deepest gratitude to Haji Edoo for his invaluable contributions during his tenure and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We note that his efforts and support, alongside director and Principal Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed, have contributed to the dissemination of Islamic education and media for 2 decades.

The MAI Institute is also relocating its operational headquarters. MAI is no longer located at or connected to the Hermitage Village Mosque. This change is an opportunity to facilitate improved efficiency in our operations, ensuring that we continue to deliver and extend our provision of impactful edification services, humanitarian assistance and community development programs.

“We are grateful for Haji Imtiaz’s dedication and service to the MAI during his time on the board. His contributions have been instrumental in sustaining our mission until this time,” said Faheem Mohammed, Director at MAI. He added, “We are confident that with the support of our dedicated team and partners, the changes at the MAI Institute will augur to making even more meaningful strides in serving our communities towards a brighter future.”

For inquiries or further information, you can visit our website at https://maiinstitute.com, or contact our administration team via email at admin@maiinstitute.com.

About Markaz al Ihsaan (the MAI Institute): The MAI Institute is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 by Maulana Dr. Waffie Mohammed, and is dedicated to providing authentic Islamic education to further the human representation of Almighty Allah in individuals’ intentions, actions and conduct.

Web: https://maiinstitute.com; Email: admin@maiinstitute.com

Muhammad (pboh): A Model of Personal Development

On the occasion of Milad un Nabi we take the opportunity to learn more about our Holy Prophet Muhammad peace be on him.

In the Quran Allah tells us in chapter 3.31

Say, O Prophet, if you sincerely love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

One of the examples the Prophet peace be on him left for us to follow is to method of personal development – how to become better versions of ourselves, and live a life to earn the best of this world and the next.

He gave us the formula to make that happen. In fact, he lived it. He strived consistently and selflessly for 23 years to establish Islam. For the first 10 years he was vilified and subject to ridicule and abuse by others, including his own family. This was in addition to dealing with the personal loss of his son, his wife and his guardian uncle. But he never gave up. He kept striving. Even after he migrated to Madina, he faced 3 wars in addition to burying 4 of his children, while in his 50’s, before he conquered Makkah. He was alive only 2-3 years after that, and buried 2 more children, before he himself passed away.

Today, he is recognized for his achievements – uniting the tribes, changing social behaviors and values, shifting the focus away from material wealth and fame to knowledge and conduct. He is acknowledged by Muslims and non-Muslims alike as one of if not the greatest leader who ever lived, based on achievement.

The principles he established have led to the formation or formalization of bodies of knowledge – developments in optics, astronomy, navigation, formalization of subjects like chemistry, biology, pharmacology, healthcare; in social sciences establishing the foundation for such disciplines as pedagogy, history, anthropology, sociology, economics; algorithms and algebra; and furthermore consolidation of world knowledge at the time, from civilizations across Greece, India, China, and North Africa.

He left an example as a husband and father, as a neighbor and as a friend. As an orphan, an employee and a migrant. As a social advocate, a revolutionary, a teacher, an Imam, a spiritual guide, a negotiator, a judge, a mediator, a stateman and leader.

He came to show us strength – he had every reason to be depressed; and have anxiety attacks; to be bitter and seek revenge. He chose faith and trust in Allah, and he chose forgiveness. He chose kindness, gentleness, caring and selflessness, even to those opposing him. He knew that everything happened for a reason – everything happened for the best – it was all part of Allah’s plan. In the meantime, he knew he had to do, what needed to be done, and he did it with patience. And endurance.

Today, we know that success in this world is the result of consistency, and success in the hereafter is the result of selflessness and total submission to Almighty Allah.

So how do we achieve these?

Consistency is achieved through discipline and perseverance or endurance.

Discipline we get from routine and habit. Doing something at fixed times every day, whether you want to or not. What helps you build routine? As Muslims we have salaat. Perform these actions within specific time periods during the day, every day. The thing about discipline is once you master it, adding to it becomes easy. You know when you have money you begin to see opportunities to make more money? It is the same with discipline. When you can achieve it, you see opportunities to add more effort, and maintain it easily. So we have a means to build discipline.

The next aspect of consistency is perseverance and endurance. These are achieved through sacrifice – sacrificing preference for patience. Now for later. Sacrifice builds drive and motivation to stay the course even when you are discouraged. Even when you are not seeing results. What helps you build endurance? As Muslims, we have fasting. Voluntarily give up very natural things – eating and drinking – for the duration of the daylight. When you want to control yourself, one of the best things you can do is fast. When you want to tame a wild animal, starve him first and then feed him. It is the same with our nafs. Starve it, then feed it, and you gain control over it. Then you can persevere in other efforts more easily – even when things get difficult you will be more able to see it through to the end.

So we have the means to build our capacity for consistency through discipline (salaat) and perseverance (fasting).

What of selflessness? We get to this point when we can we suspend our ego and care for others as much as we care for ourselves. Even more. In Islam, we are told to love for our brothers what we love for ourselves. How do we achieve selflessness? One way to do this is to give charity. Give charity, even if it is a little bit, often. You give of what you have and remind yourself that you are a custodian of all that you have – you don’t really own it, and the value is what it can do to change lives, not earn bragging rights. It makes no sense amassing it to stand above others, when you can help them instead.

You can also achieve selflessness through Hajj – making the pilgrimage, retracing the steps Bibi Hajar made to save her son, and in doing so becoming lost in the crowd with each person focused on only Allah. No importance is given to you beyond basic safety. It’s a humbling experience and tends to erode one’s ego.

So we know the formula. Consistency and selflessness. We have the tools – salaat, fasting, zakat and Hajj – that’s 4 of the 5 pillars of Islam. All are geared to help you build yourself and live your best life.

In the Quran 12:108 Allah tells prophet Muhammad peace be on him

Say, “This is my way; I invite to Allāh with insight, I and those who follow me.

On the occasion of Milad un Nabi, may we follow the example that we were given. May we achieve consistency and selflessness in all that we do, so that we earn the best for this life, and the next.


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