Houstonian (V9-I32)

Excellent Continent-Wide Program Of Nasheeds Organized At Pakistan Center Houston

Houston–July 21–Hadhrat Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi was born in 1856.

His teachers and mentors were his father (Maulana Naqi Ali Khan), Mirza Ghulam Qadir Beg (Urdu and Persian), Maulana Abdul Ali of Rampur , Shah Ale Rasool and Shah Abul Hasan Noori, both of Marehra. His Dastar Bandi (conferring of recognition of completion of Islamic learning) occurred in November 1869, when he was 13 and the same day he was adjudged a full-fledged mufti by his father. Throughout his life, he wrote excellent Nasheeds (Poems) in the Honor and Respect of Allah SWT (Hamd-e-Bar-e-Ta-Allah) and His Last Messenger Hadhrat Mohammad (Peace Be Upon him) called Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool.

In order to commemorate the works of this stalwart personality of Muslims, a North American Continent-Wide Program of Hamd-e-Bar-e-Ta-Allah and Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool at the newly established Pakistan Center, was organized by Asad Siddiqui (281.513.8205).

The president of the Program was Hadhrat Allama Mufti Qamar-ul-Hassan Sahab Qibla Khateeb AL-Noor Masjid Houston and program started with Asar Prayers. After that Hadhrat Qari Abdul Qadir Sahab Multani of Houston inaugurated the evening with beautiful heart-wrenching recitation of Quran and its translation.

Several Nasheed presenters from Washington, Virginia, New York, Dallas, Canada and Houston were present, and won the hearts of the people with their excellent presentations. The program went beyond Isha prayers and hundreds of satisfied and happy families went back home after dinner. They have requested the organizers to coordinate more programs like this one.

Daya Seminar On An Unspoken Topic: Alcohol & Drug Abuse Among South Asians, Including Muslims

“I am a fifteen-year-old. I drink a few beers every weekend without my parents’ knowledge. Am I going to be an alcoholic?”

“My two children watch my husband drink at home every day. I know it is going to affect them as they get older. How can I help my children?”

“Since my divorce from my husband, my two teenagers have turned to snorting cocaine. We are a well-to-do family. Is money contributing to their habit?”

These are some of the questions that South Asian callers asked Dr. Ashok Khushalani, (an Addiction and Child psychiatrist in Houston) when he spoke about drug and alcohol abuse and addiction on a Desi radio program a few weeks ago.

If we think alcohol and drug abuse is a non-issue for us–the high achieving South Asian group–the above questions should make us think again.

Additionally, it should be of interest to us that Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu has called for a “change in the culture and attitudes toward drinking in America” because an estimated 11 million youths abuse alcohol in this country. Again, as American residents and responsible citizens, we’d be naïve in thinking that South Asian children cannot be part of this eleven million.

It would then make sense for us–as students, parents and community leaders–to attend a program called Hidden Nightmare: Alcohol and Drug Abuse among South Asian Youth, an educational seminar organized by Daya on Saturday, August 11, 2007, at the University Center, University of Houston – Main Campus. The aim of this all-day seminar is to foster communication within families and communities by providing information on alcohol and drugs (recreational and prescription), their effects on self and family, factors contributing to substance abuse by youth and fostering recovery and change.

Daya has partnered with the University of Houston and MH PaRC (Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center) to bring this important topic to the South Asian community. The addiction specialists at PaRC will educate the audience on recognizing an addiction problem in one’s family, how family members can provide first-line of intervention and discuss the familial, cultural and spiritual factors surrounding substance abuse.

Dr. Khushalani will help the participants distinguish myth from reality when it comes to substance abuse and dependency. Kris Moore of Harris County Juvenile Court will explain the legal ramifications of under-age drinking and possession of substances.

Some of the highlights of the day will include break-out sessions for teenagers and young adults facilitated by second generation South Asians who have faced the temptation of alcohol and drugs in America and Happy Hour, a skit by Shunya Theatre depicting the web of complex relationships in an abusive family system. The luncheon keynote address by Ed Brandon, retired weatherman, ABC 13, and a recovering cocaine addict is sure to be inspiring and thought-provoking. There will be ample opportunity for the audience to ask questions, confidentially, to this great panel of experts.

The event is made possible by a grant from the Simmons Foundation. For more information on the seminar and to register, visit dayahouston.org, or call 713-981-7645 (Ask For Maliha Imami-Alam).


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