SE Michigan (V9-I15)

Muslim Matters

SE Michigan (V9-I15)

Flint Islamic Center’s 2nd Annual Seerah Competition an Overwhelming Success

Flint–March 31–The Flint Islamic Center’s annual Seerah Competition, designed to coincide with the blessed Mawlid an-Naby (s) occasion, is only in its second year but is already finding its stride and growing by leaps and bounds in Michigan.

The deadline for submitting articles praising Prophet (s) was March 17th. There were 63 participants in this year’s competition, and from them 16 finalists were chosen. In each category there was a winner, runner-up, and third place finisher (winning respectively $500, $300, $200). There were three categories, one for college students, one for high school students, and another for middle school students.

In addition to cash prizes all of the winners won one-year subscriptions to The Muslim Observer.

Each student chose one aspect of Prophet’s (s) noble character and discussed it in detail.
The purpose of the contest, in the words of the organizers, was to “allow both the youth and adults to draw parallels between their lives and the life of Prophet Muhammad (s).”

The entire event (whose budget was about $5,000) was paid for by generous donations from members of the FIC community.

The students who participated in the competition were from all over Michigan, from as far away as Lansing and Bloomfield Hills, from a wide variety of backgrounds.

The finalists had to present their papers orally before the mosque attendees (who were about 200 on the day of the contest) and six judges–three men and three women. Many of the students showed exceptional poise, comfort, and ability as public speakers.

Presentations were subject to several rules: they could last no more than 8 minutes, cue cards were allowed but no presentations had to be done without reading all the way through, the presenations had to be organized with an introduction and conclusion, and after the presentation each contestant had to be prepared to answer two minutes of questions from the judges.

In future editions TMO will print the names of the winners and some of their essays.

Please consider competing next year if you did not compete this year, or consider encouraging your children to enter the contest–this is an excellent way of showing love for Prophet (s).
Dinner was served after the students finished presenting their papers.

IIK Celebrates Mawlid and Graduation for Girls Now Educated in Islam

Dearborn–March 30–The Islamic Institute of Knowledge graduated several young ladies from its program designed to train them with leadership skills for today’s American society.

Imam Abdul Latif Berry and Hajja Khalida Beydoun, Public Relations Coordinator for the Islamic Institute of Knowledge were the main IIK adults officiating the event, which was a very happy affair attended by about 130 people, most of them friends and family of the girls who had graduated from the program. The event was held in the evening of Friday, March 30th.

First there was a very nice dinner of hummus and chicken in the large banquet facilities contained in the IIK. After this Hajja Khalida Beydoun took to the podium and showed the strong bond she and Imam Abdul Latif Berry have forged with students and parents in the course of her class.

The class was a Mawlid designed to be a happy occasion for the girls, with prizes given to the girls in response to their correct answers to test questions on Islam, and was also a graduation ceremony for a seven-week class Imam Berry and Hajja Khalida have been conducting, called a “Young Ladies’ Guidance Class” (featured in TMO volume 9 issue 11).

A bonus feature of this particular event was that it was entirely planned by girls who were a part of the graduation ceremony.

Hajja Khalida began by asking the young ladies present several test questions according to the school of law practised at IIK.

The lucky right answer to each question won a prize basket (“lucky” because most of the girls raised their hands to answer each question–from those with raised hands one was selected at random).
The first question was a two-part question based on a saying–what is the name of a prayer that if it is prayed 40 times consecutively will bring the one praying peace and ease, and the answer was Salatul-Layl, a hadith attributed to Prophet (s).

Hajja Khalida then gave a second question, “What are four good attributes that make your personality good,” and the rewarded answer was “respect, trust, praying, and reading Qur`an.”

A prize basket was then given at random.

Another question was what is the benefit of patience. The answer, given by one of the girls, was that patience gets you farther in life, and helps you get what you want faster.
Hajja Khalida said that she has seen in her own life that with patience it becomes possible to achieve the unachievable.

Another question was what is the only sin that is unforgiveable, to which the answer was (different from what the answer would have been in some mosques) prayer.

Another question was to name the five prayers and how many raka’ats each one is.
Another question was what is the limit of knowledge, and the rewarded answer was that knowledge has no limits.

What was most interesting from this event was the passionate personal investment by the girls in the event itself–this was not just an event imposed on them from the outside, but something that they themselves wanted to do, as evidenced by their universal competition, almost all of them raising their hands to answer Hajja Khalida’s questions. This was in stark contrast to the amount some of the girls had known before the class started–some of the girls had not known the five prayers.

Hajja Khalida and Imam Abdul Latif Berry thanked all of those from the community who had come, and invited all to the IIK’s May 6th fundraiser, which is scheduled to be held in the same banquet facility, and during which there will be a full accounting of all of the money received by the mosque at the last fundraiser.


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