Just several months ago, more than 500 attendees gathered to hear mesmerizing Qur’an recitations from Qari Shaykh Hassan Ali, Qari Shaykh Ahmad Mabrouk, and Qari Shaykh Abdulhamid Askam at the Islamic Cultural Association of Farmington Hills, MI. The Qur’an Night is held annually at the ICA, and this year the vision was to fundraise for the new gym project.
The construction for the project officially began August of last year, and the young and old in the community are extremely ecstatic and jubilant to see the work in progress occur. The ICA held another fundraising dinner, in continuous support of this incredibly unique gym project. The expansion is planned to include a basketball court, exercise room, new wudu area, and more.
The Islamic Cultural Association of Farmington Hills was founded by a group of families who hoped to establish an Islamic community that modeled their beliefs and values. In 1987, the community purchased the Franklin Building and moved to its present location. Two years later, it established the prestigious Huda School which has flourished over the years.
The ICA created a weekend Arabic School, Dar-al Huda. The ICA has continued to grow and expand, offering its members an Islamic environment where they can feel at home and raise their children with hearts at ease. Since its inception, the ICA has held various school and family functions for the occasions that matter most to its members—such as Ramadan and Eid—as well as exciting activities for the whole family.
It has also prided itself in offering weekly Islamic and educational lectures and maintaining a youth program that has been going strong for years. The ICA hopes to continue to expand by offering more services that the community can benefit from, and this extraordinary gym project is no exception!
The evening began with welcoming remarks with Imam Imran Salha, the Imam of the Islamic Cultural Association. Thereafter, Thereafter, Shaykh Hussein Alraee recited Qur’an and left the audience in awe with his recitation.
The keynote speaker of the night was none other than Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of CAIR. He gave very profound words that left the audience in awe. He shared the importance of having hope, investing in our youth, and standing firm on our principles of faith. “Speaking up and speaking out is the right thing to do. Speak up; don’t hide or run, for the Muslim community is becoming stronger than ever.” He shared examples of how little to no Muslims ran for office, studied journalism, or aim to become lawyers when CAIR first began years ago. Today, more than 25 hundred Muslim lawyers nationwide; 131 Muslims won political positions.
“When we respect ourselves, others will respect us,” he said firmly and proudly.
The President of the center, Ibrahim Abubars, gave a very insightful update about the construction project. His presentation included details of what was done, the work in progress, and the expected duration of the project to finish. The blueprints of what this construction project will include only made the community more eager for this to complete.
Ghazal Almradi, the secretary of the executive committee and head of the youth committee shared insights of the youth activities from the past year. Thereafter, the youngest group of the Saturday youth program gave a beautiful Nasheed performance; really hyping up the entire room and earning the star award of the night.
There was a beautiful Nasheed session with the world-renowned Munshid, Mohamed Altermithy. Shaykh Kefah Mustafa of Chicago was the honorable guest who conducted the fundraising, and in a short matter of time, more than $260,000 was raised for this crucial and exciting project, one that happens to be truly unique in the area. Dinner was enjoyed, and the event was a beautiful social that brought the community in southeast Michigan together. All for one purpose: to invest in the youth of the next generation.
It was an honor to previously interview Ghazal Almradi, an Executive Committee member and the head of the youth program coordinator at the Islamic Cultural Association for her thoughts on this exciting initiative:
In brief, what part of this gym construction project excites you the most?
The entire project is something I have been excited about! Our community has been waiting for a proper gym for our youth for many years. Given my involvement with the Islamic cultural association as a youth program coordinator, I feel that this project will enhance the program and be a great benefit to our youth.
What do you envision this gym brings to the community?
I would envision increased youth attendance to our mosque given the space they have to play and pray. I envision our ladies in the community exercising in a private workout room, playing basketball, volleyball, etc. in a safe private space. I would envision the growth of the community and events to serve all ages from diverse backgrounds. This project will be a great service to the community at large.
How would you describe the way the youth feel as they see the project work in progress?
Seeing the project come to life was the hope of many of our youth who became young adults. Since this project has been in the planning for many years, we hope that our youth will restore their trust in our community leaders as people who deliver an answer to their needs. So, I am sure that the youth will be watching the project with great excitement.
To learn more about the ICA or contribute to this project visit ica-mi.org