By Adil James, TMO
One of the older and stronger mosques in the Detroit area is so not by virtue of the wealth of its congregants but more because of the faith and commitment and involvement of the community, who stand together to rise above the many difficulties that face them in a difficult neighborhood, trying to bring the light of faith to those most in need of it.
The Muslim Center of Detroit, based at Davison and Wilson, held a fundraiser Saturday evening at the Doubletree in Dearborn. About 500 people were present for the dinner and speeches, and for a fundraiser which collected, it was estimated late the night of the fundraiser, about $80,000.
One of the main purposes of the evening was to get the mosque out of debt. The MC of the evening was Imam Saleem Khalid. The theme, â€œThe Beginnings of a New Tomorrow.â€
Zarinah El-Amin Naeem spoke very movingly about the mosqueâ€™s history as a home and focal point for its families, of its having begun in 1985 â€œfor the pure worship of Allahâ€ and the inclusion of Muslims of all ethnicities–she described its guiding principles as being â€œfaith, family, and work.â€
â€œIt started with a few families that started on faith–Allah blessed their effort, making The Muslim Center instrumental and strategic for helping people,â€ and she mentioned many different community service programs that have helped and that continue to help the people nearby the mosque, whether Muslim or not–one excellent example was the Huda Clinic, but she also listed programs that â€œfed, clothed and warmed thousands of souls through the years.â€
She spoke also of the education in Islam that was provided at the mosque, where people could enroll in classes about fiqh, seerah, and aqeedah.
She also explained that it is a â€œhalal outlet for fun where the entire family comes.â€
â€œThe Muslim Center brings you closer to each other and closer to Allah.â€
She also described the â€œHalal Jazz Cafe.â€
Imam Siraj Wahhaj was the keynote speaker and in many ways the focus of the evening, functioning as a speaker and also as the fundraiser. He spoke at length before beginning the fundraising–one of his themes was that Muslims must seek self-reliance, especially by buying rather than renting buildings–he gave several examples where people were weakened by their dependence on landlords.
He quoted a biblical passage that was actually very moving, quoting the advice that you (believers) should marry, and have children, and help your children, boys and girls, to marry, and seek the peace of the country in which you live, so that you and the country in which you live can grow in prosperity together.
Then he spoke of the growing world problem especially in Westernized countries unfortunately of low birth rates.
This event was very successful and all speakers spoke well and about interesting subjects.