By Noor H. Salem, TMO
The Islamic Center of Detroit banquet hall was filled from front to back on Friday night as the ceremony honoring all community member graduates began. A fancy fruit and dessert table cornered both ends of the ornamented hall filled with green and turquoise balloons, streamers, and graduation dÃ©cor. Every graduate was honored with a certificate and a monetary gift along with a personalized certificate.
The event began with the new director of the ICD speaking, Br. Hani. He welcomed everyone, both old and new faces and gave very good advice points to both graduates, and those still in school. The ICD then honored and welcomed Dr. Elder, a community member who has been serving as a counselor at Fordson High School for many years now. She has been an immense help to many students, aiding them with scheduling, scholarships, college applications, etc. she was able to point out a number of the graduates sitting in the first three rows whom she recognized not only their faces, but their stories. She put a few on spot, like one high school graduate who was able to get into the University of Michigan Ann Arbor pharmacy school and graduated with a 4.6. The pharmacy program at Ann Arbor only accepts 50 students annually, and thousands apply!
Two graduates gave very short speeches and one community member, Noor Salem, recited a poem to the graduates.
Certificates and gifts were then passed out as every graduate went up when their name was called. Pictures were then taken with family as several students cut the large graduation cakes, and refreshments were served.
After Maghrib prayer the ICD held its weekly lecture. This week a guest speaker, Kyle Smith, from Washington was welcomed as he shared his breathtaking story of how he converted to Islam 9 years ago, learned the Arabic language, and memorized the entire Quran. He has been researching the religion during high school and realized that uniquely, it had no contradiction. His mother was a practicing Christian and his father did not believe in a God, but never said it straightforward. He even mentioned how he asked to use his sisterâ€™s library card, back home, to find a book online. He ended up accidently sending it to the library near her home and she received a phone call to go pick it up. She thought nothing of it, but his mother immediately knew and approached him at his visit. She told me that she was totally fine with it and that nothing would change between them. He was at great relief. He found it difficult to read and memorize Quran when he didnâ€™t know Arabic, and actually read it in transliteration and memorized that way for three years. He then pushed himself to master the language and quickly memorized the entire Quran. Itâ€™s truly the best of accomplishments. He talked about the importance of having the Quran in our daily lives, and not just for display on your shelf. This revelation was preserved in the hearts of mankind, 1400 years later. Beyond doubt, a miracle.