Summer of Fun

July 5, 2007

Assalamu Alaykum,

I’ve finally decided to start updating my blog once again and insha’Allah, I will continue to update it regularly. Since I’ve been on hiatus for the last several weeks, I thought I’d update my blog with what’s been going on in my life.  Alhamdulillah, my last summer before medical school has been full of excitement and joy.  In the past three weeks, I’ve traveled to sooo many states, it’s been awesome. 

I started my journey (it wasn’t a real journey by any means) by going to Chicago for a friend’s wedding.  Devon Street is a pretty happening street.  I was fortunate enough to eat at the famous Usmanias restaurant.  My new recommended favorite dish has definitely got to be Chicken Makkni (a.k.a. Butter Chicken).  From Chicago, I continued to Michigan to visit a friend.  Michigan was awesome.  Subhana’Allah, I really loved Dearborn, there are sooooooo many Muslims there it feels like another country.  There are masajid everywhere to be found.  One masjid we went to had several hundred people attending for a regular salaat!  Additionally, most of the local eateries serve halal food (I ate at a halal Big Boys!). 

My journey continued as I flew to California.  There were about eight brothers from Hopkins who met up as a reunion (Classes 2004-2007) and subhana’Allah, it was soo fun.  We arrived in Los Angles and continued our trip north up to San Jose (via Pebble Beach and Monterray) and south down to Long Beach.  California was an amazing experience as the trip defined true brotherhood.  One thing I got to do is give a shout-out to the UCLA MSA.  Masha’Allah, they’ve really got it going on.  The undergraduate and graduate students really get along.  We prayed jummah there on a non-school day and there were still about fifty people there for jummah!  Their MSA produces the Al-Talib newspaper which has been in production for seventeen years.  Furthermore, they run a free clinic for the medically uninsured.  Masha’Allah, I’ve never seen an MSA so together and on top of things.  After California, I fly back home to Tampa, but I stopped in Dallas for several hours.  A friend of mine picked me up and showed me around.  Dallas is a really impressive city and one that I think I may have to return to in the future to get the Texas experience.

After returning to Tampa and spending some time at home, I headed to Richmond, Virginia to find a roommate and apartment.  It appears as though it is final that I am attending Virginia Commonwealth University for medical school.  The medical school application cycle has been long and tedious at times for me.  Nonetheless, I’m excited about the final outcome.  I did have a great experience in all the cities I was able to travel to during my interviews.  Subhana’Allah, I met some superb brothers and the hospitality some of them gave me is unbelievable.  I put the results from my medical school process up at http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?myid=6247.  Insha’Allah, make dua for me that whatever is best for me and my family in the duniya and ahkira to happen for us.  We’ll see how Richmond treats me next year, insha’Allah, it goes well! 

I was also able to travel to NYC where I ate the famous Platters from 53rd and 6th.  Subhana’Allah, the gyros there were definitely on point.  That’s really been about it for me over the last few weeks.  Now that I’ve gotten through boring you about my journey, insha’Allah, future posts will be back on point in dealing with things that are more important.  Take care, insha’Allah.

Wa assalamu alaykum

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I’ve left Baltimore.  Alhamdulillah, I graduated from Hopkins and it’s time for the next chapter in my life to begin.  Nevertheless, I’m sad to say good-bye to Baltimore.  It will always be very dear to my heart.  Living in Baltimore was a blast.  The two best parts of it were, of course, Masjid ul-Haqq and O’s Place.  Last week, I was fortunate enough to say by farewell to both of them.  In my last week as a member of the Baltimore community, I made several trips to the D.C. and Northern Virginia area to say farewell to my family and friends in those communities.

Last Thursday, I graduated from Hopkins.  Alhamdulillah, I was able to finish my classes and the university granted me adegree.  Football coach Brian Billick was the keynote speaker.  He was a decent speaker.  I thought we would have had a more notable speaker since people like Al Gore and Bill Cosby had been the graduation speakers in years past, but alhamdulillah, Billick’s speech was enjoyable though it definitely had a lot of football analogies in it.  He’s definitely a bright guy.  In a weird sense, I will miss Hopkins.  It definitely had a very competitive, cut-throat atmosphere, which I could not stand.  Nevertheless, I was surrounded with people that are unbelievable in what they do.  They are amongst the smartest people I have ever met when it comes to academia.

Then, last Saturday, Masjid ul-Haqq held a fundraiser on-site to raise money to build a school.  Speakers included Imam Safi Khan from Dar-us-Salaam, Sheikh Mutahhir Sabree from Columbia, South Carolina, and Imam Sahmuddeen Harun from Austin, Texas.  Subhana’Allah, Sheikh Yusuf Estes even came to the event as he made a guest-star appearance.  I believe he is good friends with Sheikh Sabree, who also works with Sheikh Adly in South Carolina.  At maghrib time, the masjid had raised about $60,000.  Subhana’Allah, after maghrib, one brother anonymously donated $100,000!  Imam Sahmuddeen was a phenomenal fundraiser-er (I’m going to say he’s better than ever Imam Johari!) and the total at the end of the night came to $220,000!  Subhana’Allah, that is an unbelievable amount for the community.  Indeed, the Masjid ul-Haqq community is one that is attached to the ahkira over the duniya!  I will definitely miss Masjid ul-Haqq.  May Allah (SWT) bless this community and allow other communities to take a lesson from the brotherhood that is present there.

Then, on Sunday, I went to O’s Place one last time.  We were able to meet up with some of the brothers from UMBC and Morgan State as we all enjoyed a nice lunch buffet together.  Obviously, you cannot go wrong with solid halal chinese food.  Afterwards, I said my salams to everyone as I was planning to leave the following morning after fajr.  Alhamdulillah, I made lots of good friends during my stay in Baltimore and there is no doubt in my mind that I will definitely miss each and every one of them.  They were all special to me and it is my hope that they will keep in touch with me.  Insha’Allah, I pray that Allah (SWT) blesses them and that if we do not meet again in this duniya, then, insha’Allah, we will meet again in paradise.

Philly

April 28, 2007

So, alhamdulillah, I had the awesome opportunity to spend the last couple of days in the city of Philadelphia so I thought I may share of some of experiences of the city. Mash’Allah, the city is sooo awesome. It’s Muslim central as the dawah is really visible almost everywhere you go. I spent two nights in Philly, one night with a brother I know at Temple Med in Germantown, and the other night with a brother I know at Haverford College in the suburbs.

Alhamdulillah, I got to see quite a bit of the city and got a good feel of the people there. For food, I was quite excited about going to Halal Bilal’s. Supposedly, they have the most authentic Philly Cheese-steaks. They don’t use real cheese (they use cheese-wiz instead) and they put chili sauce on their sandwiches too! Nevertheless, when we got an opportunity to go to Halal Bilal’s, we ended up going to the wrong location as it appears that they had moved. Nevertheless, I was fortunate enough to eat at the famous Saad’s Restaurant. It was really impressive. The go-to dish there is definitely the Chicken Maroosh. Maybe, insha’Allah, I’ll write a review of Saad’s later on. As for touristy things to do, I was able to see the Rocky stairs. I had already seen the Liberty Bell; I was kinda surprised to see how small it was.

I was impressed with the amount of masajid in the city. Next to Saad’s, there are two masajid right next to each other. I believe they have some drama with one another (amongst the different things they have differences upon include which direction the qibla is, drama never ends does it?). I didn’t get to pray in either one this time, but I have prayed in Masjid al-Jamia before. It is big and has a nice feel to it. It is a former theatre converted to a masjid.

In Germantown, I prayed at Masjid Sunnat-wa-Nabawiya a.k.a. the Germantown Masjid. I really liked this masjid. It was totally awesome. Dawud Adib used to be the imam of this masjid before he left to go overseas. The imam there now, Talib Abdullah, used to be the imam at Masjid Dawah in Baltimore. In the area this masjid is located at, there are Muslim shops everywhere in all directions. The masjid itself is four stories (with brothers and sisters both having four floors each) and I hear on jumah it is packed to capacity with people praying outside. I prayed Maghrib there and masha’Allah, I was very impressed to see about seventy-five brothers attending Maghrib salaat on a daily basis. SubhanAllah, it was awesome. Everyone greets everyone else. Everyone is soo nice and it appears people definitely look out for one another.

Later on, for isha one night, I attended a totally different type of masjid that I had never been to before. It was called the Mosque of Shaikh M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. I believe the masjid is named after a Sufi saint from Sri Lanka. The masjid was the opposite of the Germantown Masjid in terms of the feel one gets. Aesthetically, the masjid was beautiful. Nevertheless, there were only a handful of people that attended the salaat. Afterwards, people only really greeted people knew and there was no hugs going around to be seen. It was kinda weird to see group dua occurring three different times after the isha salaat was over. The imam at this masjid apparently was studying to become a Rabbi until he realized Islam is the truth.

For salaat-al-jumah, I prayed at the Foundation for Islamic Education. It was a school with a masjid attached to it in the suburbs of Philly. It was right next to Villanova University. Alhamdulillah, the masjid was really nice and diversity was awesome at the masjid. Alhamdulillah, it seemed like the masjid had a core of some really good brothers. I guess that concludes my thoughts about my recent trip to Philly. Alhamdulillah, it is a really nice city. I could definitely see myself living there in the future. Khair, insha’Allah, we will see what happens. Keep me in your duas.

Wa assalamu alaykum.