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In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate

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FAITH AND SERVICE IN ACTION

“Returning to school: distribution of school supplies.”  On Sat., August 10, LALMA paired up with Masjid At Thohir and ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) to distribute backpacks and other school supplies to children and neighbors at the Indonesian Muslim Community Center.  Dwirana Satyavat, the Center’s Director, gave a welcome speech in English, with Spanish translation by LALMA.  Other volunteers participated in greeting and making everyone feel welcome at this new Islamic center in Los Angeles.    

 

Khutbah (sermon) in Spanish and Friday prayer.”  LALMA has begun to pray together as group on Fridays, with Imam César Domínguez delivering the sermon in Spanish.  By the grace of Allah, we are able to offer a space for congregational prayer and receive the message of our faith in our own language.  

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LALMA volunteers distributing school supplies at Masjid At Thohir

LALMA group after khutbah and jum’ah prayer

UPCOMING LALMA CLASSES / SEPTEMBER:

Sat. 14: “Compedio de Estudios Islámicos,” by Kenny Solís, ar-Rahman Islamic Center, Fontana, 10:00am to 12:00pm (in English and Spanish).

Sat. 14: “Lecciones sobre el Sermón del Viernes” by César Domínguez, ar-Rahman Islamic Center, Fontana, 12:00pm to 1:00pm.

Sun. 15: Special class with Dr. Syed Rizwan, Masjid At Thohir, Indonesian Community Center, Los Angeles, 11:00am to 12:30pm.

Sun. 22: Arabic language and Qur’an recitation with Khalid Seraifi, Masjid Umar ibn al-Khattab, Los Angeles, 11:00am to 1:00pm.

 

Sun.29: Workshop “Know your Rights” with Yunuén Trujillo, Masjid At Thohir, Indonesian Community Center, Los Angeles, 11:00 to 1:00pm.

LALMA’s annual iftar and Ramadan celebration took place on May 19th at Umar ibn al-Khattab mosque.  This annual event is an affirmation of our faith, when we break our fast and share a meal and prayer with family and friends from several multirreligious and multiethnic congregations.  Those present included representatives from the Archiodiocesis of Los Angeles, Dolores Mission Church, Leo Beck Jewish Temple, Ikar Jewish Congregation and LA Voice, a grass-roots organization advocating for social and economic justice.  This year, LALMA honored Alianza Islámica, the first Hispanic Muslim organization founded in the United States.  Alianza Islámica was established in 1987 in New York City by three Puerto Rican Muslims: Ibrahim González (who passed away in 2013), Yahia Figueroa and Ramón Rahim Ocasio.   Mr. Ocasio was present at this celebration and received a plaque recognizing the important legacy of Alianza Islámica, as it has tiressly worked to preserve its cultural roots and meet the basic needs of the community.  The following pictures show Ramón Ocasio addressing the audience, and Marta Khadija, founder of LALMA, who was also honored with a special plaque in appreciation for her exemplary work and leadership. 

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LALMA participated in the Common Ground for Peace walk, organized by ICUC (Inland Congregation United for Change) on Aug. 27th in San Bernardino, calling for an end to gun violence. Rafael Delgado, from LALMA, was one of the organizers and Imam César Domínguez led a prayer along the walk in memory of victims of gun violence in this town.     

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MERCY AND THE LOVE OF GOD: Foundations of Islam.  The Qur’an proclaims: “God, there is no deity except Him and his are the most beautiful names” (sura Taha, 20:8).  The Qur’an begins with the invocation: “In the name of God, the All Merciful, the Ever Compassionate” (sura al-Fatiha, the Opening, 1:1).  Ninety-nine are the names or attributes of God that we find in the Book of Islam.  The first one we find is precisely the name of the All Merciful, the attribute of infinite mercy.  al-Rahmaan: this is how God has chosen to present Himself to humanity.  The relationship between God and human beings is defined by mercy, the infinite mercy of the Creator of all that exists.  In another passage of the Qur’an, we read: “Among God’s signs is that He has created for you partners from within yourselves so that you find solace in them.  And He has put between you love and mercy.  Certainly, in this are signs for people who think” (sura al-Ruum, Chapter of the Romans, 30:21).  God created human beings out of love.  Thus, love and mercy are the values that define human relationships, as inspired by the Loving One, al-Waduud, one of the names or attributes of God.  Without love and mercy, human existence would not be possible.  Let us make a celebration of these divine values and take them as inspiration for our lives as individuals, as a group, as members of the great ummah, the universal community of Islam.  

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al-Rahmaan, the All Merciful, the source of all mercy.

al-Waduud, the Loving One, the one who gives love profusely. 

UPCOMING LALMA CLASSES:

 

 

During the month of January, classes with LALMA will take place at Masjid Umar ibn al-Khattab and Indonesian Muslim Community Center, in Los Angeles, y at ar-Rahman Islamic Center in Fontana.  Please visit our website (www.lalma.net) for specific dates and times.    

“THE PROPHET OF MERCY”

César Domínguez

 

Prophet Muhammad, may God grant him peace and salvation, was known as the Prophet of Mercy.  The Qur’an defined him as such and cites many examples of the Prophet’s merciful behavior.  The second battle of Islam, the Battle of Uhud, resulted in defeat for the Muslim army, after the victory in the Battle of Badr. Among the reasons for the defeat were: overconfidence on the part of the Muslim soldiers because of the previous victory at Badr, negligence in disobeying the Prophet’s instructions given to a group of archers, and excess of greed at securing the spoils of war when victory seemed assured.  These transgressions were severe.  Nonetheless, Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy, always chose peace and unity over punishment and displacement. 

 

The Qur’an stated:   “It was by God’s mercy that you were gente in your dealings with them.  Had you been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from you.  So, forgive and ask forgiveness for them.  And take counsel with them in public matters … then place your trust in God for, verily, God loves those who put their trust in Him” (sura al-Imraan, 103:159). 

 

 

It is highly significant how Prophet Muhammad not only pardonned the transgressors, but also asked forgiveness for them.  Such is the character of the real servant of God.  Forgiveness is only possible by way of mercy and love.  The true believer knows that judgment and the final outcome of all matters belong only to God.  This is real justice.  Let us remember what the Qur’an says:  “God loves those who put their trust in Him.”  This is the message we must seal in our hearts:  to injustice and transgression, respond with justice and mercy, and put our trust in God.   

 

 “O Allah, make us be attentive to your commands, be obedient and become sincere friends and companions to one another”

 

Words of Prophet Muhammad, may God grant him peace and salvation

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