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ICNA-MAS Convention: Growing Numbers, Speakers, and Content

ICNA-MAS Convention: Growing Numbers, Speakers, and Content

By Syed Jawed Anwar

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) USA and Muslim American Society (MAS)  organized its 42nd convention on Easter weekend (14-16 April) in Baltimore, Maryland. I attended after more than decade when it was in Hartford, Connecticut. At that time, the convention attracted under 10,000. After a few years the numbers crossed 10,000, and the convention organizers changed its venue to the Convention Center, Baltimore. Now the numbers are over 20,000.

The message of ICNA is also clearer and louder now. Javaid Siddiqi, newly elected Ameer (President) of ICNA, recited the Quranic verse Surah Aal e Imran, Aayah 3:104.

وَلۡتَكُن مِّنكُمۡ أُمَّةٌ۬ يَدۡعُونَ إِلَى ٱلۡخَيۡرِ وَيَأۡمُرُونَ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَيَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلۡمُنكَرِ‌ۚ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ

“And from among you there must be a party who invite people to all that is good and enjoin the doing of all that is right and forbid the doing of all that is wrong. It is they who will attain true success.”

“It is Allah’s order that it must be a party among you who do this task and ICNA has placed itself in a position to call and invite American people to the message of Islam. And the main purpose is seeking pleasure of Allah.” Br. Siddiqi has quoted Quranic Aayats in favor of all the activities ICNA USA is doing;

1.      Inviting people to Islam (Why Islam and Gain Peace Projects).

2.     Feeding the hungry, providing shelter, serving humanity in crisis, and supporting projects for human upliftment (ICNA Relief, Helping Hand, and Muslim Family Service projects).

3.     Protecting family from hellfire [(ICNA Sisters wing, Muslim Children of North America (MUNA)], Young Muslims (YM Sisters, YM Brothers)].

4.    Educating and training (Usratul Maria for sisters, Islamic learning foundation, Online Institute, Durus of Quran, Tarbiyah programs, etc.).

5.     Ending oppression and providing justice in the society (ICNA Social Justice Department).

 When Imam Siraj Wahhaj came to the stage as a fundraiser, he announced loudly, “ICNA is the best organization of USA. Although I am with ISNA, CAIR, MUNA, and all other good organizations that are doing good works in certain areas, I prefer ICNA that is doing everything.”

Imam Siraj Wahhaj said that Muslims often ask what is the future of Muslims and Islam in America.

“Future of America depends on your decision what future you want to see, and how much you prepared to do it,” he said.

Imam Wahhaj repeated it several times.

He said there are two things you have to decide now:

1.           You are not going back to your country of origin.

2.         Stay here and fight back; struggle utmost.

Imam Siraj Wahhaj said we have to fight against oppression and help the oppressed people.

“Yes! We are facing difficult days. But we have to stay and fight back.”  Crowded and fully occupied convention center was cheering with voices of promise; Insha Allah, and Allah u Akbar.

Dr. Yasir Qadhi, the noted US Islamic Scholar and Dean of Al-Maghrib Institute explained how to react and maintain patience in these troubled days and times and how to position Islam in US.

The theme of the convention was divine message of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (peace be upon them). More than 100 topics and issues covered including women, young sisters and brothers, children, and for the people of different professional backgrounds. There were parallel sessions in Arabic, Urdu, Bangla, Indonesian, and Spanish languages.

It was multi-ethnic and multi cultural crowd that includes a large number of Youth. In the Bazaar around 250 vendors were showcasing and displaying their products and services; civic, Dawah, Educational, Relief, Media, Books and Publications, Business, Financial, Gifts, Clothing, Jewelry, Art, Paintings, Frames and others.

Following speakers lectured and presented different topics in more than 100 sessions (main and parallel) in three days.

Imam Siraj Wahhaj

Dr. Yasir Qadhi

Javaid Siddiqi

Sh. Abdool Rahman Khan Resident Scholar, ICNA, 

Sh. Mokhtar Maghraoui, Renowned Scholar

Sh. Omar Suleiman Founder, Yaqeen Institute

Dr. Dalia Fahmy Professor, LIU Brooklyn

Sh. Yusuf Islahi Renowned Scholar

Sh. Saad Tasleem, Instructor, Al Maghrib

Sh. Abdul Nasir Jangda, Founder, Qalam Institute

Imam Khalid Abdul Fattah Griggs, Vice President, ICNA

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, Speaker, Writer, and Researcher

Sh. Yassir Fazaga, Imam and Scholar

Dr. Jasser Auda, Renowned Scholar

Dr. Altaf Husain, Vice President, ISNA

Abdel Rahman Murphy, Pioneer of Dawah in North America

Dunia Shuaib, Marriage Educator and Author

Imam Mohamed AbuTaleb, Imam of the Islamic Association of Raleigh

Sh. Suleiman Hani, Imam, Author, and Researcher

Dr. Suzy Ismail, Professor, DeVry University

Sh. Yasir Fahmy, Imam, Islamic Society of Boston

Imam Mohamed Magid, Former President, ISNA

Naeem Baig, Former President, ICNA

Hafiz Inayatullah, Imam, Alhedaya Center, Atlanta

Sh. Abdalla Idris Ali, Executive Director of ISNA Canada

Ustadh Majed Mahmoud Instructor, Al Maghrib

Nihad Awad, Executive Director, CAIR

Jeremy McLellan, Standup Comedian

Haji Noor Deen, Master Calligrapher

Nahela Morales Da’iya, a Revert Mexican-American Muslim

Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Former President and Executive Director, ICNA Council for Social Justice

Malika MacDonald, Director, ICNA Relief Boston

Dr. Mohammad Yunus, Former President, ICNA

Jane Aslam, Director, ICNA Relief

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali, Imam, Canton, MI

Sh. Mohammad Elshinawy, Religious Director at IECPA

Sh. Khalil Chishti, Quran Arabic teacher

Saadia Yunus, Marriage and Family therapist

Dr. Kia Jahed Biomedical Engineering Researcher.

Sh. Fahad Tasleem Founder of DC Seminary

Sh. Hassan Saleh, Graduate of Quran Recitations, Al-Azhar University.

Sh. Ismael Essa, Graduate from Al_Azhar University

Corey Saylor, Director, Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia

Imam Mikaeel Smith, Instructor, Tarbiyah Academy

Moutasem Atiya Instructor, Al-Madina Institute

Linda Sarsour, Civil Rights Activist

Omar Esa, Nasheed Artist

Dr. Khalid S. Shahu, Imam and Lecturer in Arabic

Wilfredo Ruiz, Attorney Wilfredo Amr Ruiz

Jose Acevedo, Education consultant

Afia Yunus, Principal Attorney

Jamal Abdul-Karim, History teacher

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Former professional basketball player

Ramon Ocasio, Lecturer on Islam

Adem Carrol


Azhar Azeez

Corey Saylor

Dr. Ahmadullah Siddiqi

Dr. Ahmed Aydilek

Dr. Amaarah DeCuir

Dr. Anwar Khokhar

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai

Dr. Hatem Bazian

Dr. Khurshid Khan

Dr. M. Farrukh Nizam

Dr. Maha Hilal

Dr. Mohammad Wasay

Dr. Nakibur Rahman

Dr. Rida Beshir

Dr. Syed Ali 

Dr. Syed Wasimul Haque

Dr. Talat Sultan

Dr. Zainab Chaudry

Erum Shabbir Abbasi

Fatima Waseem

Furqan Siddiqi

Hanif Ismail

Hena Zuberi

Imam Asif Hirani

Imam Daud Haq

Imam Delawar Hossain

Imam Hafiz Zafeer Ali

Imam Hamad Chebli

Imam Hassan Amin

Imam Rouf Zaman

Imam Yaseen Sheikh

Jameel W. Aalim-Johnson

JC Faulk Khalil Ismail

Karim Amin

Khadijah Abdullah

Khalid Iqbal

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

Malika MacDonald Rushdan

Maqbool Patel

Maqsood Ahmad

Mazen Mokhtar

Nadia Hassan

Naureen Shah

Nihad Awad

Oussama Jamal

Prof. Ebrahim Moosa

Qasim Mazhar

Radouane Majidi

Sh. Abdallah Allam

Sh. Albeny

Sh. Hafiz Inayatullah

Sh. Ismet Akcin

Sh. Mikaeel Smith

Shafura "Dedeh"

Shari F. Crittenden

Tayyab Shahheen

Tufail Chaudhry

Ustadh Ekram Haque

Ustadh Ibrahim Ali

Yasir Ali

Dr. Hisham Altalib

Dr. Suzy Ismail

Osama Iqbal

Sh. Haithem Issa

Dr. Madiha Tahseen

Ustadh Shahid Ali

Amjad Quadri 

Abdessamad Mellouane

Joshua Brockwell

Saadia Yunus

Lena Masri

Sarah Sultan 

Dr. Ahmed Alwani

Sara Sultan 

Umm Zakiyyah

Wael Abdelgawad

Dr. Abdul Jabbar

Amin Aaser

Asif Muzaffar

Mohamad Ali Syed

Mobeen Vaid

Daniel Haqiqatjou

Sh. Fouad El-Qassas

Lois Butcher Jr.

Farhana Matin

Sumaira Afzal

Sh. Ismael Essa

Imam Ali Tos

Shomail Malik 

Farhan Malik 

Alimah Amina Tirimzi

Amin Husain

Meher Mohsin

Aishah Alam

Kashmir Maryam

Omar Esa

Nahela Morales

Jamal Abdul-Karim

Dr. Mohamed Qatnani

Dr. Mohamed Musa

Sh. Sayed Kamaluddin Zafree

Sh. Tarek Monowar

Sh. Aabu Jafer Beg

Ifdal Yusuf

Joshua Salam

Mariam Azimi

Imam Fahmi Zubair Zakaria

Saulat Pervez

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