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Wayne State University’s 15th Annual Dinner

By Adil James, TMO

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani speaks at the Wayne State U MSA’s 15th Annual Dinner.

Dearborn–February 26–Organizations aplenty grace Michigan’s Muslim community, but it is not often that a student organization is able to present an event that competes favorably with those put on by the adult organizations.  Just such an event was the Wayne State MSA dinner at Dearborn’s Ford Community Center for Performing Arts on Michigan Ave this past Saturday night.  Present were several hundred guests, filling the main ballroom at the community center.  The entertainment was excellent, with a religious keynote speaker (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani) and a nationally known entertainer (Preacher Moss).

The event was cosponsored by Islamic Relief and in part the success of the event seemed to be tied to this organizational capacity and by the connections from Islamic Relief. 

A Islamic Relief spokesman at the dinner / fundraiser spoke of the work his organization was doing already to help the beleaguered peoples of North Africa in the wake of the terrific and unprecedented upheavals that have struck the region.  He spoke of tens of thousands of dollars worth of food and medical aid that had already been deployed in the form of transit points.

There was a (relatively brief) fundraiser which aimed to earn about $20,000 and did earn roughly that amount.  Some of the donors were professional adults, however even students participated and donated.

There was a long, beautiful and moving speech by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani who focused on the teachings of many pious Muslim scholars on the issue of love.  He spoke in detail of the love of Laila and Majnun, describing in exquisite detail the suffering that Majnun endured and the manifestations of his intense feelings for Laila when he could not see her–love so strong that he felt overcome by her presence even when she was not present. 

The point that Shaykh Rabbani came to from this long discussion of love was that “love of Allah is the axis around which all good revolves,” and he encouraged the audience to reflect on whether we love Allah and Prophet (s).  The shaykh spoke of the indescribable nature of love, saying that there are some things that “the more you talk about them, the less you understand.”

The shaykh also spoke on the tremendous greatness of Prophet Muhammad (s), speaking of his characteristics in speaking with his holy Companions, of his silence, patience, and his preserving of his Companions’ honor sometimes simply by remaining silent.

Throughout the snowy evening there was some amusement from the news that dribbled into the gathering from outside–as numerous car license plate numbers were read–illegally parked cars that were being towed by the Dearborn police.

Preacher Moss entertained the audience for about 30 minutes, making the hall roar with laughter with several of his jokes.


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