The Killing of Khurram Zaki

The Killing of Khurram Zaki

We have all heard about Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr. Western media was rife with articles about him and how he stood up against Saudi tyranny and fought for the rights of minorities, and specifically Shias, in the kingdom. Similarly, we also hear much about Shaykh al-Zakzaki, a renowned scholar in Nigeria, who is incarcerated as a prisoner of conscience.

Around a month ago, Pakistan also lost its own Shaykh al-Nimr. His name was Khurram Zaki. Although he was not a cleric, his fight for human rights and minority rights was of no less significance for the Muslim community in the country.

Khurram Zaki was important in many regards. He was a research scholar and a journalist. He was the editor of LUBP (Let Us Build Pakistan). As a blogger and human rights activist, he went beyond the call of duty in defending religious minorities in Pakistan against the merciless onslaught of terrorists, which included, among others, the Pakistani Taliban, Sipah-e Sahaba and Lashkar-e Jangvi.

From a young age, Khurram Zaki had shown promise as an intellectual and scholar. He had debated the famous Israr Ahmed, the renowned proponent of terrorism and takfirism in Pakistan who incidentally, also showed disdain towards the Ahl al-Bayt (as).

LUBP was an important national blog which in the midst of a dearth in free newspapers, kept Pakistan informed of what was really going on in the country despite the apathy of so many within its borders.

After humiliating Israr Ahmed in a debate (available on youtube), Khurram Zaki was completely sidelined from Pakistan’s mainstream media who, unfortunately, showed much deference to the Takfiri ideology that has taken over much of the country.

Although he was sidelined, his voice was not silenced. As a result, he received regular threats from various terrorist and extremist groups in the country. Yet bravely enough, he refused to leave the country or even write under a new pen name. He pressed on in his fight against extremists and terrorists and even brought about a criminal case against the notorious terrorist den, the Lal Masjid.

Near the time of his martyrdom, Zaki continued fighting religious extremism and internationally recognized terrorist organizations such as the TTP, ASWJ and the LEJ. His blog LUBP has recently been censored and blocked by Pakistan’s government.

Zaki set an honorable precedent for other human rights activists who fight against oppression in the country. Zaki was a convert to Shi’ism after having educated himself in the school of Ahl al-Bayt (as). As a follower of Imam al-Husayn (as), he did not limit himself to fighting for Shias only but he fought for all oppressed groups in the country. Zaki also fought tirelessly to bring Shia and Sunni leaders together. His endeavor had success where Sunni leaders like Allamah Ragib Naeemi, one of Pakistan’s leading Sunni scholars, joined his interfaith activism.

Given the success of his work, it is no wonder that his enemies wanted to put an end to his life, hoping to put an end to his mission. Yet his martyrdom only serves to inspire other courageous men and women who refuse to bow down to oppression and terrorism from religious extremist groups.

Forgetting Khurram Zaki’s sacrifices and martyrdom does nothing to diminish his stature with Allah (swt). What it does, however, is put our community in danger as it brings about a willful blindness and heedlessness to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Islam whom Zaki tirelessly fought for. By honoring his memory, we encourage the younger generation of believers to take up his mantle of fighting for our right to live and to live as equal human beings. So if you can, set aside a minute or two and share his memories with your friends, whether it is in person, email or in social media.

Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi

The SABA Islamic Center (Shia Association of Bay Area) is located in San Jose, California and is led by Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi.

Moulana Abidi Special Ramadan Message

Moulana Abidi Special Ramadan Message

In his sermon before Shahr Ramadhan, The Holy Prophet (S) said:

“O’ people, indeed the month of Allah has approached you with barakah (blessings), mercy, and forgiveness. This month is the best of all months, its days are the best of days, its nights are the best of nights, and its hours are the best of hours. This is a month where you are invited to be the guests of Allah, and He has made you His honored guests. Your breaths in this month are tasbih, your sleep in this month is ibaahdah, and your actions in this month are accepted.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Shahr Ramadhan Mubarak! Based on moon sighting report from different parts of the U.S., we confirmed that Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 will be the first day of the holy month of Ramadhan. Therefore tomorrow Monday, June 6th, 2016 will be the last day of the month of Sha’ban.

May Allah (SWT) bless us all and give us the strength and tawfeeq to enter and exit this month in the same manner as the Holy Prophet (S) and Ahlul Bayt (A). Indeed, the month of Allah has arrived, and all of us have been given the honor of being His special guests. There is no doubt that the host of this month, Allah, will shower us with the best of bounties, blessings, and forgiveness.

Allah beautifully shows us how we should begin this blessed month as a journey to self-purification and self building so we can attain nearness to Allah. I urge all of you to recite the Du’a for the first night of Shahr Ramadhaan:

O’ Allah, keep us safe and healthy during this month and make this month a safe haven for us. O’ Allah, give us all the khair (goodness) and create barriers for us towards that which you do not love.

In this Du’a, we acknowledge our weakness and Allah’s mercy and beg Allah to help us reap the maximum benefits from this blessed month. Let us start this month spiritually cleansed. Let’s put all of our grudges and differences behind us in order to purify our hearts and achieve the purpose of fasting — taqwa (God consciousness).

My dear brothers and sisters, this month is a great opportunity to strengthen the bonds of your families. The family is the nucleus of the community; only with strong and spiritually healthy families will we be able to have a strong, spiritually healthy community. The Holy Prophet (S) has said, “The most beloved action to Allah is when He sees a family has come together to share a meal. At this time, Allah sends His mercy upon them, and before they finish Allah will have forgiven them. “

Brothers and sisters, spend quality time with you families, show them love and compassion, help each other stay physically and spiritually healthy, and strengthen your bonds with one another. Here are a few simple things we can do:

Have sehri/suhoor with your children and allow Allah’s special Mercy to engulf us.

Spend quality time with your families; set aside some time to participate in productive activities together.

Reach out to those who are new in our communities or do not have families. It was a tradition of the Prophet (S) to pair the converts and those who did not have a family with the well-established families of the Ansaar so they could taste the beautiful atmosphere of the family.

Spread the kindness and mercy of this month to your negihbors, colleagues, Muslim and non-Muslim friends. Indeed we need to let others know that Islam is a region of peace, kindness and mercy. Maybe we can share some dates, flowers, knowledge in the form of books, conversations, etc.

Make your house the source of educational learning and spiritual nurturing.

InshaAllah, SABA Islamic Center and other Islamic centers in the Bay area and across the world will hold programs everyday during this holy month. I urge all of the believers and their families to frequent SABA as much as possible to take advantage of the daily Quran recitation, jama’ah prayers, speeches from our esteemed visiting scholars, special children’s programs, iftaar, and the special brotherhood and sisterhood bonding that comes in this holy and sacred month. There will also be special programs during the weekends, on the nights of Qadr, in commemoration of Imam Ali’s (A) shahaadah, and much more.

Let us use the opportunity of the Night of Qadr, the Night of Power, which can change our destiny. Indeed, we can strive to brighten our future in this night. Pray for the hastening of our beloved Imam (AJ) and for us to become his true companions. Brothers and sisters, indeed the oppression through out the world has reached new limits. We are in desperate need of our Imam to bring peace and justice to the world. As we start off our month in a safe and nurturing environment, many of our brothers and sisters in faith do not have that luxury. Please remember all of those who are suffering and in need around the world in any capacity you can, financially, spreading awareness, etc. at the minimum keep them in you special Du’as.

May Allah (swt) elevate our ranks and inspire us to strive in His way and His cause during this holy month, and throughout our lives, in order to receive our rewards on the day of Eid al-Fitr from Allah (SWT) through our beloved Imam Mahdi (AJ).

Jazak Allah Khaira and Best Wishes,
Moulana Abidi

The SABA Islamic Center (Shia Association of Bay Area) is located in San Jose, California and is led by Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi.

Ramadan Timing

Ramadan Timing

Ramadhan 1st may be on Monday, June 6th or Tuesday, June 7th. SABA will send an email regarding the moonsighting as soon as it can be confirmed. Ramadhan programs will commence at SABA starting Tuesday, June 7th regardless of moonsighting.

The SABA Islamic Center (Shia Association of Bay Area) is located in San Jose, California and is led by Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi.

Introducing Kisa Kids Publications

Introducing Kisa Kids Publications

It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce Kisa Kids, one of the great efforts of our ulama and educational team of volunteers under the guidance of Moulana Abidi and SABA BOT.

Kisa Kids aims to assist parents and educators in shaping and nurturing the minds and souls of our children through the dissemination of three primary resources: Islamic Curricula, Children’s Islamic Projects, and Children’s Literature! InshaAllah in the near future, we would like to publish literature for middle schools and high schools as well.

Alhamdulillah, we have launched 28 books, and will inshaAllah launch another 28 in the near future. We are always looking for volunteers in many different areas, such as writing, art illustrations, editing, graphic design (e.g., indesign, photoshop, illustrator, etc.). Please help us in this noble effort. You can contact info@kisakids.org for more details.

Please visit the website at www.kisakids.org