â€˜Eidul Ghadeer at Islamic House of Wisdom
Reported by independent reporter Amanda Khalil
Dearborn Heights–January 13–The Islamic House of Wisdom held its annual celebration of Eid Al Ghadeer on Saturday. It was a sizeable community event commemorating Prophetâ€™s (s) praising Sayyidina Ali (kw).
â€˜Eidul Ghadeer is an event celebrated by Shiâ€™a in connection with the hajj. According to their tradition, upon the completion of the Prophet Muhammadâ€™s (s) final hajj he stopped in Ghadeer Khum whereupon he announced some core principles of Shiâ€™a belief. .
Upon entering the IHW, aromas of delicious foods and the echo of chatter filled the room. Guests of the dinner enjoyed a scrumptious array of foods, drinks, and desserts. A recitation of the Qur`an permeated the guestsâ€™ ears for all to savor. It was an event that kindled the warmth of family and community togetherness.
There were lectures in Arabic and English on the importance of the hajj and the wisdom behind it. Hajj represents prayer, charity, education; submission to Godâ€™s will, total connection, and is a purifying process. They said hajj should be a deep spiritual revolution in a personâ€™s mind, heart, and soul. Imam Elahi said, â€œthe lesson one learns on the spiritual journey of hajj should be taken back to every corner of the world as a light and purity to all the nations.â€
Imam Jowad spoke of the symbolism of the hajj, â€œImagine waking up and seeing such a large number of people rising in the morning, almost as if they were rising from the graves in a sort of metaphorical symbolism for the resurrection, and a humbling experience as one sheds the possessions and comfort of the worldly life for a deeper connection and understanding.â€ He urged Muslims as they come back from hajj to remember the comforts of this life that they lost on hajj, and carry that appreciation of what they have been blessed with in their hearts. When they see someone without a bed, remember when they didnâ€™t have a bed and feel compassion for humanity.
Imam Mohammed Elahi discussed the importance of togetherness and unity amongst all Muslims on the Hajj, â€œDuring the pilgrimage peoples of diverse nations and languages unite together in prayer, love, and brotherhood, which we should take an example from, lighting the way to unify the Sunni and Shiâ€™a schools of thought in order to work together in peace and harmony for a common goal of understanding and communication.â€
Carly Chirifi, a Muslim convert who attended the lectures commented on the evening saying, â€œIt was a really welcoming atmosphere. It gave me a sense of togetherness, and the lectures really opened my mind about hajj on a spiritual level. It improved my faith, and Iâ€™d recommend all people regardless of their faith to attend events such as these to open oneâ€™s mind; and elevate their understanding of the humanity and unity we all share.â€œ
Local ladies go formal
By Beena Inam Shamsi
Southfield–January 14–Muslim Women Up! has found a unique way of helping todayâ€™s young women. Sometimes you just need to get dressed to the nines.
Recently, MWU celebrated its second annual â€œall sisters ballâ€ at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in Southfield, Mich. Women of all ages came, dressed in their evening gowns. There were no men allowed.
â€œIt gives the young girls the opportunity to dress up and meet with other Muslim girls,â€ said Mimo Debryn, a guest attending the ball and an advisor of the Youth of America of the Unity Center in Bloomfield Hills.
MWU is a non-profit social- and community-based organization. Its purpose is to welcome all Muslim women regardless of race, class, or culture. It is working hard to bridge community gaps and form a community of true sisterhood.
The event started at around 6 p.m. with Qur`an recitation and a speech on strengthening the `ummah, followed by games, dinner,, a fashion show and dancing. It was a picture-perfect evening.
The chairman of MWU and a mother, Khadijah Abdullah, said, â€œI have found huge segregation in the Muslim community. Girls donâ€™t know other girls. We are losing a lot of girls because of it. Lack of knowledge is causing this segregation. Looking at my own daughter, I donâ€™t want to see her lost.â€ She said she wants the girls to realize they are not alone and Islam is a way to help everyone.
Initiating Muslim events has increased Islamic knowledge and promoted personal religious growth.
â€œThere is still culture segregation, where Indian goes to the Indian events, Pakistanis goes to their Pakistani events and Arabs goes to theirs. When you grow up here, you are growing within diversity. Muslim Women Up! is a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together,â€ Debryn said.
The chair of the youth council, Yasmeen Thomas was the inspiration behind the organization. She was confused between her Muslim and non-Muslim relatives. She couldnâ€™t decide which path to choose and then she thought about organizing a platform for young women to come forward and have fun within the Islamic norms. â€œI thought I was the only one with the problems but there were other girls as well. It is a place to reach out to young sisters,â€ she said.
Abdullah said a cohesive community could be built by introducing girls to other girls. MWU has brought a positive change for the young girls. â€œLast year there were three races; 90 percent African American, 3 percent European and 7 percent Arabic. This time we have seven races,â€ Abdullah said.
MWU also offers a monthly spa day to bring together the sisters of all communities for a day of pampering said the publicity chair, Raina Thomas.
Every month, teens from ages 14-19, get together for a sleepover where they are provided with Muslimah counselors to create a safe place where they can talk out their issues and begin on a road to better communication, self-awareness, self-esteem and family relationships.
MWUâ€™s meetings take place in once a month. Meeting are the last Saturday of the month from 3-5 pm starting February 24, 2007.
For more info or to join MWU call Khadijah at 313 205 8764.
CIOM meeting to discuss recent acts of vandalism
Dearborn–A meeting of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan (CIOM) was held last week, comprising about 25 local community leaders from the Sunni and Shiâ€™a communities. The meeting was held in the wake of some very unfortunate acts of vandalism earlier, apparently by radical Sunnis against Shiâ€™a two mosques and several other businesses. Prominent local imams including Imam Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America, Imam Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom, Imam El-Amin of the Detroit Unity Center, and Imam Mohammad Moosa of the Bloomfield Unity Center, among other prominent guests, were present.
The focus of the discussion was on promoting congenial relations between all of the different leaders, to maintain a good and friendly basis and not to be at odds with one another, so that cooperation and communication are facilitated at times of crisis when it is important for all communities to work together.
Another meeting is scheduled on February 5th at the Islamic American University.
Free Fibromyalgia Workshop
Press Release: Livonia–a local authority will be appearing at the Carl Sandburg Library for a free workshop on Wed., January 31, 2007 at 7 pm to â€œreveal the shocking truth behind what can be causing Fibromyalgia. This event is sponsored by the National Wellness Foundation, a non-profit organization.
To register fro the free workshop, call 248-426-0201 and leave a message.