Huda Clinic in Detroit Services 30-40 Patients Daily

ready for injection shot By Faiz Ahmed

The Health Unit on Davison Avenue has provided free health care services for those uninsured in Detroit since May 2004.

The health clinic, HUDA, operates out of the Muslim Center.

It was started by founders Faisal Qazi, a neurologist who studied in Detroit, Mitchell Shamsuddin, organizer of the soup kitchen in the Muslim Center, and Zahid Sheikh, the executive director of Health Systems at Henry Ford Hospital.

HUDA started in 2001 as a small clinic with the help of a few volunteers. It was open once a week, with 2-5 patients.

“HUDA was like a ‘mom and pop store’ in its infancy,” Sheikh said.

HUDA partnered with the Muslim Physicians of Greater Detroit (MPGD) in 2004. The MPGD is a group of Muslim professionals in the medical field who wanted to start a free health clinic. Instead, they pooled resources with HUDA for its organizational structure. MPGD had the manpower.

There are now 30-40 patients per day.

HUDA provides services for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Patients can get routine check-ups and clinical lab tests. If special services are required, HUDA staff seeks outside help from community doctors.

Along with volunteers from MPGD, HUDA has volunteers from students going into medicine, pharmacy and nursing. Huda has three paid employees, Sheikh said.

“We use volunteers because as a non-profit organization we have to control our expenses, and it also gives the message out that we are not doing this for personal gain,” he said.

“We are American Muslims and as such we care about our country and the community. We aim to provide excellent health care, educate and train young Muslims to be good community leaders who care for the society and are ready to make positive decisions for us all,” he said.

Dr. Touseef Rehman, a volunteer physician at HUDA, started working at the clinic in 2007. He said the work he does gives him a sense of satisfaction.

“Apart from treating the patients and drawing up the treatment plans, I also have to supervise the staff, students and the residents during observation,” Rehman said.

A major challenge for HUDA is the lack of medication available on hand and the choice of medicines that can be prescribed.

“There is also the added disadvantage that we lack continuity of care as each doctor looks at the medical condition of a patient from another perspective and the same doctor can’t be scheduled regularly every week,” Rehman said.

HUDA is seeking to expand.

Dr. Jukaku Tayeb, Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of HUDA, and President of the Board of Directors at CAIR Michigan, said a new building and volunteers from medical fields are needed to expand its services.

Tayeb said HUDA brings people of different faiths together in a single cause.

“We have volunteers from all faiths who work as a team,” Tayeb said.

According to Shamsuddin, 75 percent of patients are African American, 20 percent Bangladeshi, and 5 percent are “other.”

HUDA is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan, Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan State Medical Society, Muslim Physicians of Metro-Detroit, and the Muslim community.

The clinic operates on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 9.00 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you would like to donate or volunteer at the HUDA clinic, contact Dr. Zahid Sheikh at (586) 604-1452, or visit www.hudaclinic.org.

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Detroit Area Oncologist Emphasizes the Importance of Having Faith

Dr. Ayad Al-Katib

By Melanie Elturk

Dr. Ayad Al-Katib expresses his Islamic faith by   showing his cancer patients the importance of having faith.

“I show good professional behavior and emphasize the importance of having faith and our ability to cope with daily life problems. When dealing with cancer, a serious medical problem, having faith helps people cope,” said Dr. Al-Katib.

After receiving his medical degree from Mosul Medical College in Iraq, Dr. Al-Katib came to the United States in 1979 for training in cancer and blood disorders. Today, he is a nationally and internationally known expert in his field and has published more than one hundred scientific papers.

As a professor of medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Medical Director of the Van Elslander Cancer Center at St. John Hospital and section chief of Hematology and Oncology at St. John Hospital, Dr. Al-Katib was named one of the area’s top oncologists in the Hour Detroit magazine in 2008.

Fascinated with blood disorders and the study of blood cells as a medical student, Dr. Al-Katib was motivated to become an oncologist.

“As a medical student, watching blood cells under the microscope and how they can become abnormal in addition to tremendous research and progress in treatment is really exciting. We have made progress, but there’s more to be done,” Dr. Al-Katib said.

Being a Muslim helps Dr. Al-Katib in his practice; at the same time, dealing with cancer patients helps strengthen his faith as a Muslim.

“Dealing with oncology and cancer strengthens my faith because, despite our efforts, some people die of cancer. I see how fragile our life is and how much we don’t have control over it. God has control over our lives,” He said.

Dr. Al-Katib continues, “I am only the means. I don’t have the power to heal you – it’s God who has the ultimate power. We as human beings are limited. Knowing and seeing this makes me more humble and a better person.”

In order to transform the negative media portrayal of Islam and Muslims, Dr. Al-Katib believes we need to continue to do good deeds and be a positive force in American society.

“We need to get more involved in the collective American society, not only collect money for other countries, but do something here for the communities we live in,” said Dr. Al-Katib.

Dr. Al-Katib lives in southeast Michigan and realizes that there’s strength in numbers.

“Muslims in this country are individually very successful but we have failed to work collectively. We don’t have weight in societies. In southeastern Michigan our numbers are huge. Collectively we don’t have enough influence in our communities,” he said.

He has inspiring words for the next generation of American Muslims.

“I hope our new generation is going to carry on and be of service to this society. Islam is here. It’s part of this country and this society. I hope this new generation will be more active than my generation – the new generation of American Muslims.”

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Michigan Lawmaker Represents Diverse Populations, Islam

Rashida Tlaib is the first American Muslim woman state legislator.

Rashida Tlaib is the first American Muslim woman state legislator.

By Nargis Rahman

Michigan lawmaker Rashida Tlaib, 32, said she could not picture herself as a state legislator if she was not Muslim.

“I truly love Islam. If I didn’t have prayer everyday and some of the teachings and beliefs, I don’t know if I would be a legislator,” Tlaib said.

Tlaib became the first American Muslim woman in Michigan state legislature, last January.

Tlaib credits her love of Southwest Detroit and encouragement from her former boss, Rep. Steve Tobocman, as factors in her decision to run for office.

Tlaib met Tobocman while working for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services. He was working on changing legislation for undocumented children that were not able to further their education past high school.

Tlaib said it was a personal issue for her. Her friends were unable to attend college.

She joined his cause, helped knock on doors for his campaign, and became politically active.

After working for Tobocman for two months, he asked her to run in the upcoming election.

Tlaib said she laughed at first, not knowing he was serious. Tlaib said he had several friends talk her into running.

She won the November election with 90 percent of votes against Republican Darin Daigle.

Tlaib graduated with a bachelors’ degree in political science from Wayne State University in 1998, and a law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in 2004.

Tlaib comes from a family of Palestinian parents, who did not graduate high school. She is the eldest of 14 siblings.

While growing up, her grandfather would share stories of international laws affecting immigrants, especially Palestinians.

“I grew up in the summer hearing my grandfather’s stories, wanting to do something amazing,” Tlaib said.

“I’m a very passionate person. I’ve been working on social justice issues for a while and I went to law school.”

“Majority of freshman law students say they want to change the world, and I was one of those who sincerely wanted to change the world.”

Tlaib said although she is a lawyer, she likes to be known as a normal person.

“I hate being called a politician. I so happen to be a state rep,” she said.

Tlaib said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve others.

Alhamdulillah [praise be to God] it’s just blessings. Look at our lives, we are blessed American Muslims. It’s not just giving back to Americans, Muslims or the causes we support, it’s giving back to those who are in need,” Tlaib said.

“If I can help all those in need; Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and improve their quality of life, that makes me a better Muslim.”

Tlaib has been married for twelve years, and has a 3-year-old son. She is proud to raise her child in the neighborhood where she grew up and now serves.

“I’m so happy to raise my child in a place where there’s people from all walks of life… backgrounds, and an acceptance of different nationalities,” Tlaib said.

The community is made up of approximately 40 percent Latinos, 3 percent Arab-Americans and 3 percent African-American, among others.

“The community has made me the woman I am today.”

Tlaib is working on four legislations: environmental justice, social literacy, consumer services and protection, and access to human services.

Tlaib said her life is busier since she started her job.

“Before I ran for public service, I told my family they’re going to have to share me with 95,000 other people,” she said.

Tlaib said although her job is a tremendous responsibility, she does not plan on failing.

“My accomplishments reflect all American Muslims,” she said.

Tlaib said people need to work on the ground, not just the media, to erase negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims.

“The media continuously falls into the trap – intentionally or not – to train communities into falling for the stereotypes,” she said.

Tlaib loves when people find out she’s Muslim. “They learn more about our religion.”

CAIR-MI awarded Tlaib for her services at the CAIR’s annual banquet in March.

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Detroit Mosque Hosts Weekly Soup Kitchen

By Faiz Ahmed

Executive Director of the Detroit Muslim Mission, Mitchell Shamsuddin, has operated a soup kitchen for two decades from two Mosques,currently using Masjid Wali Muhammed as the base of operations. As a social activist and community leader, Shamsuddin has devoted his life to mentally and emotionally uplift those in poverty.

The mosque was establishedin the 1930s by Wallace Fard Muhammad and TheHonorable Elijah Mohammed. It was known as Mohammed’s Mosque No.1. It was renamed by ImamWarith Deen Muhammad when he assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam. Located off of Linwood Ave. in Detroit, the mosque is a center for religious activity, with a social reform message, and social services.

Mitchell Shamsuddin

Mitchell Shamsuddin

Individuals and families in need line up inside the mosque to pick up boxes of household provisions including toiletries, baby supplies, and canned foods. Boxes are distributed by priority to households with children, seniors, and unemployed adults. The Detroit Muslim Mission distributes around 3,600 food boxes every year. The soup kitchen provides meals to those in need from the Detroit community every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food is distributed inside the mosque for children and adults of all ages.

The Detroit Muslim Mission is to break the feeling of helpnesses for Detroit residents below the poverty line.

The soup kitchen runs with volunteers from the Detroit Muslim Mission and the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA).

The Detroit Muslim Mission aims to extend the days per week the soup kitchen operates. More volunteers and funding will be needed to accommodate the growing number of participants at the soup kitchen.

Patrons of the Soup kitchen

Patrons of the Soup kitchen

The soup kitchen is federally funded through the City of Detroit, food donations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and money from community members during fundraisers.

Shamsuddin, a man of great patience and strong will, takes on the task of mentally, morally, socially, and economically uplifting the community with ease.

“We are motivated to help people as an expression of our faith,” Shamsuddin said.

If you would like to volunteer or donate, please contact Mitchell Shamsuddin at badeel@aol.com

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Rutgers’ Senior Sends Facebook Messages to Spread Islam


Ali said "Allah Bless America" represents two parts of himself; being American and Muslim.

Ali said "Allah Bless America" represents two parts of himself; being American and Muslim.

By Nargis Rahman

A Rutgers University senior, Rizwan Ali, Facebook-messages narrations of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, to help Muslims and non-Muslims learn more about Islam.

The group, “Ahadith Per Day Keeps Shaytaan Away: part 2!!” was created as a reminder for people to learn, understand and teach others about basic principles in Islam on the widely-used online network.

Hadith are the narrations of the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. According to Ali, “shaytaan,” or satan, is what is kept away with a hadith a day.

After being a member for some time, Ali, who is also MSA President at Rutgers University, realized messages were not sent everyday. He knew the creators and a year and a half ago decided to become a part of the team.

The group uses Riyadh-us-Saliheen, a collection of hadiths or oral narrations from the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, covering topics such as good character, basic daily activities, self discipline, and helping others.

Through his work, Ali said he tries to clear up misconceptions about Islam. He wants to spread the true message about Islam but foremost wants to learn about it himself through lectures, Islamic classes, and reading circles.

Ali said politics aid in the negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims.

He said people are starting to realize there’s nothing to be afraid of.

“There are a small percentage of those who are nut jobs, but they’re only a very, very small percentage and do not portray Islam as a whole.”

“In fact, since 9/11…hundreds of thousands of people have entered into Islam all across the world.”

“People are educating themselves about this beautiful religion. The more people learn about Islam, the more they’ll understand it. And our group is here on Facebook to help.”

Over 2,000 members have joined worldwide from Europe, Australia, and India. There are concentrations in Arizona, Michigan, California, and New Jersey.

Not all members are Muslim.

“These reminders are very practical and Muslims and non-Muslims alike will benefit from them, God willing, so I encourage all to join,” Ali said.

Ali sends emails to family and friends who are not on Facebook, but sticks to Facebook where the online trend started.

Ali said Facebook could be a waste of time if it distracts you from remembering God. He said Facebook is not full of reminders about Islam.

“Anything that keeps a person away from remembering [God] is a waste. But to have this group which reminds you daily of Islam and gives you good and helpful messages, I think that’s important.”

Ali did not start the group. He’s following in the footsteps of others; Ambreen Raqib, Sitwat Hashmi, Samir Hashmi, and Saima Khan,” from New York and New Jersey.

He said he enjoys sending out the messages.

“I’m very, very happy each time I hit the “send” button because I know that I’ve done whatever I can to help spread something good,” Ali said.

Ali said he gets the most feedback for clarifications on hadiths. It makes him dig deeper and learn a lot in the process.

“When group members reply back to me after I send out a particular hadith and tell me how much they appreciate it, or how much these beautiful reminders help them or that a certain hadith that was sent was just what they needed, that feels good.”

Ali is an English major who hopes to go to Law School to help Muslims.

“In the future if I’m a lawyer I see myself helping Muslims as much as possible,” Ali said.

He started working with Muslims as a founder of Muslim Students Association at Richfield Park High School during his senior year. The group was organized following a request for Zuhr, midday prayer break during school hours so students could pray on time. Ali said that led to weekly discussions about Islam and the MSA group.

“We had a good amount of Muslims in our school, no one prayed Zuhr on time. My friend and I went to the principal and said we’re Muslim, we need to pray and we need a designated place to pray,” Ali said.

Ali is a youth leader for Young Muslims, a national youth initiative to keep the youth in the Masjids and among good role models.

He is one of the co-founders in his community. The group meets once a week for discussions.

Ali said he was pushed into the program when he was 14-15, and realized there was a need for good role models. He now helps run the program.

“I see myself kind of an like an elder guy in the community.”

“A lot of kids don’t have anyone to look up to. Instead of going out on Friday nights, we bring them to Masjid.”

Ali interns for CAIR-NJ. He puts the weekly newsletters together.

“There’s a point in my life where deen (faith) is very important, education and family is important in my life. All three of that goes together in one.”

Visit, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2225726745 to join “Ahadith per Day keeps Shaytaan away: part 2!!”

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Council on American-Islamic Relations, Michigan Chapter (CAIR-MI)

CAIR Logo

CAIR-MI has been in existence for nine years with its office located in Southfield, Michigan. As a non-profit organization, CAIR works hard as a civil rights and advocacy group to support, defend and empower Muslims in Michigan. With its main headquarters in Washington, CAIR-MI is part of a nationwide effort to lift American Muslims socially and politically by focusing on constitutional rights.

With the help of a Media Outreach Team, CAIR-MI works with local and national media to help reshape the image of Muslims in America by eliminating negative media and reinforcing positive media coverage of Islam and Muslims. CAIR also uses an Action Alert system to send out information on pressing issues that need attention from Muslim groups.

Through internships, conferences, seminars and workshops, CAIR-MI educates the larger population about Islam and Muslims. These educational sessions aim to inform Americans of pressing Islamic issues and customs that may need accommodation in different places. Accommodations may include allowing workers to take prayer breaks, wear the Islamic head dress (hijab) in the workplace, and/or respect Muslims observing fasting in Ramadan.

Training is also available for Muslim groups needing assistance in public speaking, media relations, and civil rights through the Presenting Islam to Fellow Americans program.

For more information, visit www.cairmichigan.org.

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