For the past few days, homeless mother Galadrial Neece-Estrada and her family have been sleeping someplace they would never have imagined - at a southeast Las Vegas mosque. Neece-Estrada, her boyfriend and their two sons, 2-year-old Aden Cooper and 8-month-old Austin Cooper, are spending a week at the mosque as guests of the Islamic Society of Nevada.
"I've been reading up on Ramadan (the Muslim holy month) in the classroom where we sleep," the 26-year-old mother said. "The longer I'm there, the more I realize how beautiful the (Islamic) religion is." It may seem like an unlikely place for a homeless family with no religious affiliation to end up, even temporarily. But society director Aslam Abdullah said taking care of others is what religion is all about. "If God's creations can't find a place in the house of God, then what's the use?" he said. Abdullah volunteered the mosque to Family Promise, a nonprofit organization that works with about 20 local places of worship representing eight different faiths to help homeless families.
Each church, mosque or other "faith house" takes in up to four families, providing meals and beds, for a week at a time. When the week ends, the families move on to the next host until they eventually transition into regular housing. Family Promise Director Terry Lindemann said the idea behind the program is to allow homeless parents to spend their days looking for work instead of worrying about how they will eat or where they're going to sleep. "We shelter and feed them at night. During the day, we look at what's broken and get them back on track," Lindemann said.
The organization operates out of a small house near Van Buren Avenue and F Street and helps homeless parents find social services, jobs or, in Neece-Estrada's case, study for her General Equivalency Degree. "Here you get a chance to breathe," she said. "You can follow through on the groundwork you have laid." Neece-Estrada, who hopes to eventually become a chef, said she became homeless after losing her job as a slot attendant two months ago. She and her family spent time in local shelters before being chosen for an opening at Family Promise in early November. She said the program has given her the opportunity to learn about different religions and changed her mind about Islam.
"I was guilty of believing the negative, media-generated picture of Muslims. I don't know if I would have ever gotten to a mosque on my own."
While Lindemann said Family Promise is not a religious organization and participating churches do not proselytize the homeless families they host, Neece-Estrada is absorbing as much about each faith as she can. "I feel like God pushed me" to Family Promise, she said. "I have a strong belief in God and pay close attention while at the different churches. They don't force the issue, but if you ask about their religion they'll tell you." Abdullah said he was motivated to join Family Promise not by a desire to change negative stereotypes about Islam, but to practice its beliefs. "It is the obligation of every religious community to do what we can to help those who are suffering," he said.
O,I can give several examples:
#1-It is very disrespectful to reject somebody's friendship or brotherly love(brotherhood). It is in fact very insulting and arrogant. This was your first mistake. Let me explain. According to the three major religions (Judaism,Christianity & Islam) we are the descendants of the original people, Adam & Eve, thus related and rightfully correct to call mankind one brotherhood. According to the latest science we all belong to the same gene pool and slight variations of the same DNA. This also suggests a human original prototype, whether it was created by God, Aliens or Nature, there was a prototype. I believe God designed it, you believe it evolved from vacuum, that's your set of beliefs. Bottom line, we are all related, thus easily we can call ourselves brothers and if we share a common activity we can call ourselves also, friends. You rejected these, so what did you expect? To accept you as our master? To believe every word that comes out of your mouth because you were white and atheist and not a brother or a friend? You wanted to have peace by not belonging or being friendly? How on earth were you going to do that without being arrogant as well as impertinent? One day a homeless person approached me to my car, he was frozen and shivering like an autumn leave in the wind. He said:"Brother! Could you spare me some change? I'm so cold I would need a coffee." I said, "Here brother, get this $5 and get yourself a breakfast too." According to you I needed to say,"You are not my brother, not even my friend, we don't go places together nor visit each other, but hey, there you go take this $5 and eat a breakfast from my charity toward worthless people like yourself." You dig, Doin?
2)The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Those who frequently resort to cursing (people) would neither be accepted as witnesses nor as intercessors on the Day of Resurrection.''
3)The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Do not curse one another, invoking Curse of Allah or Wrath of Allah or the fire of Hell.''
Allah Ta'ala does not look upon your bodies or appearances, He looks upon your intentions and your deeds.
4)The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When a person curses somebody or something, the curse goes up to heaven and the gates of heaven get closed. Then it comes down to the earth and its gates get closed. Then it turns right and left, and if it does not find an entrance to go anywhere, it returns to the person or thing that was cursed.
Dear brother, please read the aqbove Hadiths, and please try to be close to the Messenger way of talking with others. We are Ummah created to tell people of the earth to do right things and to teach them not to do wrong. So let us be that way. Your reward fro Allah.
Your statements about Islam and Muslims in general is an insult to every honest Muslim on this website. If you cannot perceive that there are out there tools in the form of general info and Islamophobic media to brainwash you, what do you expect? Our respect? For what? For being stupid? I give you some examples:
1) You said Salah id-Din, may God be pleased with his soul, intended to conquoer Europe. This is an insult to us Muslims. It took him time, long enough to siege Jerusalem, only after the European bastards started killing the Muslims and taking their lands and properties. If you knew a bit of Universal unbiased history, you would know that Salah id-Din, Allah yirhamhu, wanted Cairo the see of the Fatimids. But you find yourself posing statements as if they were the absolute truth. That is what is offensive. You want to learn, ask and you'll be answered, but don't try to sell sand to the Arabs or more appropriate for us, sell ice to the Eskimoes.
You complained that I called you enami? When you were called a brother and an ami you said you weren't our brother nor our ami. So what the heck are you then to us? Obviously, enami.
I'm a hypocrit because I wished you peace? Are you serious? Peace is not mine to grant, but I can ask for it, God is the granter
I have visited this site as a non-Muslim, trying to better understand another point of view. I have been personally attacked many times through the comments section. I think it is important for the editors of this site to closely look at the comments for personal attacks on fellow commentators. Calling commentators dogs, poodles, baboons, skunks, trolls and the list goes on. I think these misplaced comments work against the efforts you are trying to accomplish with such a site.
One last example of offensive personal attacks. In the comment Ref: 34476. The person was trying to attack me by saying I'm a woman. By doing so he is showing prejudice and it is offensive to all women. If I'm a man or a woman is of no importance when making comments.
I would like to state, that other comments posted have been a great help me in my understanding of Islam, and were appreciated. Overall I enjoy visiting this site.
PS. please check my comments, and if there is anything of an offensive nature I would like to know, and apologise in advance. However In democracies it is important to have a FREE exchange of ideas WITHOUT violence (including verbal/written). In comment Ref: 34476, the person plays with the word ami (french for friend) so it more closely resembles enemy. I think a through reveiw of your comment review process is required ASAP.
I couldn't believe that somebody claiming to be Canadian would be able to exhibit the crass and ignorant stupidity of the kind:
"For each terrorist act done in the name of Islam let a thousand actions such as those in the articles be done in the name of Islam."
The first Canadian born Muslim in Ontario happened in 1855 in the city of London to James and Emily Love who were Muslim immigrants from Scotland, the boy was named, Cassim (Qasim as spelling recquires today). From 1855 to 2005 there are 150 years, by short 8 generations. In USA grass-root Muslims date even from an earlier period. Are you suggesting in your confused mind that these people as well as any other local Muslims from both South and Central America are somewhat bearing any responsibility for incidents in Iraq or Palestine? For the same matter, do you believe in your ignorant judgement that Muslims from Morocco are guilty for the terroristic bombing in Bali, Malaysia? Or Muslims of Turkey are guilty for the London bombing? Dion, my poor enamy, terrorism is caused by the Western superpowers who invade, occupy and terrorize the indigen population of the Muslim countries. The greatest evil in the picture is of course, the puppet country of Israel, the bloody Zionist state that robbed the lands of the indigenious Palestinians(Muslims and Christians as well) and turned them into brothels for their Western masters.
Muhammad called president Bush a dog? Baboon would be closer, I guess, accept the correction, if you will.
Your next statement is side-splitting moronic:
"If you don't respect the west, the west won't respect Islam."
So, Bush, is the West? Let me break the news on you, pal, not even his US compatriots respect him! Only baboons like himself respect him all ov
Calling me a poodle, now that isn't very nice, especially from a Muslim. Personally I like dogs, but not to be called one. You should apologise, if you can find the maturity.
I don't worship President Bush (I don't worship anything), I even don't agree with everything he has done or thinks, but I would not call him a terrorist.
I think a better question you could have asked me, is what have I done to help people in need.
Personally I have given to many charitable organisations that have helped Canadians, and the rest of the world. The two latest most notable examples are to Tsunami Relief effort(considerable amount), and to my friends south of Canada in New Orleans.
In Canada I give to charities that help youth (of all religions) and the elderly. I'm very proud of the fact that I'm in a position to be able the less fortunate.
I have also helped charitable orgs with my time on and off for the last 25 years.
I pray that this programme leads to Neece-Estrada and her family, and others like them revert back to their birthright of Islam in sha-Allah.
What more to say that ALLAH(SWT) KNOWS BEST!
This i s what all muslims should do because the media will play i'ts game the whole nine yards.
It is up to us not to just follow the pillars in silence but to SHOW THEM.