Friday, February 24, 2012

Islamic Center of Greater Toledo Monitor editorial & President's message

Our wonderful religion emphasizes niyyah, good intentions and hard work. And it seems we don’t do too well if both are not present in good proportions. Taking from this premise 2012 insha’Allah will be a year of energy, activity and unity.

The focus shall be on raising membership of the ICGT, reinvigorating the Youth Club, reorganizing the Ladies Auxiliary, having regular events at the Center as well as visitation to the community. And the wonderful news is that many of these aims are well on their way to being fulfilled!

Membership to the Islamic Center is as fundamental as clients are to a business. Many of our community members enjoy the fabulous facilities that the ICGT provides, for it is a birth to death resource. Membership is nominal at $150/person or $300/family and you can pay this in installments as well. We now have new membership boxes, reminiscent of the Star Wars R2-D2 robot, at the entry of the ICGT and in the foyer area upstairs. The form can be filled and deposited with either a check or credit card info into the boxes. A membership form is also included in this edition of The Monitor as an insert.

The Youth Club has been formed and has already had a few meetings and activities. If your over 12-year old child or relative wishes to join they can contact the Youth Club coordinator Faiza Husain at They plan to have events like Meeting of the Minds, Spelling Bee, Math Bee, debating competition, Quran tafsir groups, sports, movie night, game night and ice-cream socials.

The Ladies Auxiliary had dissolved in 2011. The President, Mahjabeen Islam, Treasurer S. Saeed Zafer and Council-member Shabana Farooq met with community ladies on January 22, 2012. The meeting was emotional and the ladies raised many issues of the past and fears for the future. Most issues were addressed and we were able to accomplish elections of the officers that very day. Rabha Saie was elected President Ladies Auxiliary, Lisa Alcodray Vice-President, Reema Andrabi Secretary and Faye Sugheir Treasurer.

For far too long our community has been riddled with politics and agendas. Insha’Allah with this New Year and new Council, it is our resolve to work toward healing and unification. To help all of us toward the realization that we are but an Islamic Center, rather than the grandiosity in some minds of engaging in politics and division as though this was a country! To that end visitation to members of the community is planned by a small Visitation Committee consisting of the Imam, the President and a Council or community member. The purpose of this visitation is manifold: to engage the community and inform it of the many programs that are going on in the Center, that an effort is being made to “de-politicize” the Center and accommodate all shades of opinion and to increase membership and donation to the Center.

Regular events are already being held at the ICGT. On January 28, 2012 Mawlid-al-Nabi was held in the Social Hall which was packed with over 250 people. Do view the photos and the program in this Monitor edition. Hamd in praise of God and qaseedas in praise of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) were recited in Arabic and Urdu by several wonderful voices. Speeches extolled the life and beauty of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) character.

You will want to follow the Visiting Scholars Lecture Series. On February 18th Dr. Mounir Elkhatib will be speaking on “How to use your food as medicine” and on March 24th. renowned North American scholar Dr. Jamal Badawi will be speaking about the Sharia and misconceptions about Islam.

It is my heartfelt appeal for all of us to work for revitalizing the ICGT in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation, keeping the interest of the ICGT and service to Islam as our main focus. Life should not be a spectator sport, but a participatory one. Join us on Fridays, Sundays, and during all events at the ICGT and remember to become a member and give your zakat, sadaqat and donations to the ICGT.

Mahjabeen Islam M.D. is President of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. She is an addictionist and family physician in practice in Perrysburg.