ISNIU Fundraising Dinner for the New DeKalb Masjid.

8:02:00 AM

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم

Alhamdulillah these past couple of weekends had been quite memorable.

 Poster in the making. I quite liked some elements in the left poster. But ended up with the one on right. 

1. Al Maghrib Tafsir Class with Sh. Yassir Qadhi. I met a lottt of my sisters from my local masjid. Lama tak jumpa and sat in our circle. Six students of NIU MSA from DeKalb went. AlMaghrib is basically a mobile institution that visits big towns every three months or so. The three day class (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) + (passing) online exam is worth 3 credit hours. When you've taken enough credit hours (30 classes accumulatively over time) you could earn a certified Bachelor Degree in Islamic Studies. The online exam is just around the corner. We need to do well in order to get credited. Please make du'a for us! Imagine doing a study group revising tafsir surah Yaasin and Ar-Rahman. Alhamdulillah. Rasa mcm surreal pon ade. What am I doing in the US learning all these things? May Allah bless America with Islam. In God, we trust ;)

2. MSA Sisters Sleepover on friday-saturday morning. We made sushi, pancakes, played taboo and had some sharing. Oh yeah, zumba too! How fun. That evening I had to go and settle some work at school. What a way to end a sleepover day huh. Can't complain :) I had a great night working and right after that I met aunty Rozita and uncle Mazlan who came to NIU to attend our SEA (South East Asia) Studies 50th Anniversary Gala. NIU imported Amirah Ali (alumni and also a singer) all the way from Malaysia.

3. Fundraising Dinner for the New DeKalb Masjid. After weeks of hard work by the community, alhamdulillah the dinner was made possible, with flying colors. I was part of the process but only by little. I thank my anty Noreen who ran here and there to take care of the errands like a headless chicken and pull me in to join her. And I thank you for that aunty. The working towards meeting demands and deadlines was more like a treat to me because while we were at it together, which I played a little role of, you'd always make sure that you pack me lunch. I'm only used to be pampered that way at home.

Ya Allah, it was quite an emotional ride. A little bit of drama here and there. Nevertheless, the turn out was really a miracle. I witness with my own two eyes how truly patience and perseverance would bloom into a flower of success. The mounting skepticism, criticism and clashes they had from the beginning till the very last minute (when most guests just showed up late!), it's amazing subhanallah to see how the tables turned on us!
  1. It was a brave step to continue on with the fundraising dinner on March 8 after a couple of times postponing. 
  2. Regardless of the late selling of tickets due to miscommunication and technical probe, we had a full house!
  3. The cash+pledges given that night was triple/4 times waaay more than our initial goal.
And that's only to name a few. Bro. Faisal Hammouda, our speaker of the night did a great job in keeping the spirit up. Here are some words of inspiration.
(yeah. I took notes at the fundraising dinner )
"They would try dressing up in funny clothes, eat funny things beyond your imagination, so why can't you make them try Islam?" 
"I was in DeKalb 35 years ago and the pioneers there were the Malaysian and Indonesian. Today, there are  international students form various places who go to NIU DeKalb. Now it's the Arabs, Pakistani and Indian's etc turn to continue and strive this effort. 
"We began as parking violators, now let's become Islam propagators" 
"We got a special permit from DeKalb town. 501C - Tax exemption. Everything we do, supply, donate are going to be tax exempted."
Bro Labadi is the local (partially) halal restaurant owner, called The Huddle. He was the MC of the night and he too gave some wonderful insights.
"Inshallah my business here is secured and taken care of. So I thought, it about time that I took care of the business for my akhirah. That's why I'm doing this."
I truly felt Allah had sent down His angels like He did in the battle of Badr. Now, I'm tryna figure out the logic behind patience and perseverance. It's nothing physical. Having been reminded that part of seerah, when some people expressed their worry during the process, I didn't hesitate a second to say everything will be ok. Allah's help will be with us. Confirmed! I was very sure of that. But...I was also very sure that if there was anything that could impede Allah's help, it could be one's contaminated intention and action along the process. My biggest concern was my very own effort. I wasn't sure of my effort. Frankly speaking, I don't think I can say "Ya Allah, I've done my best" although I wanted to. Aagh.

It takes some thick-skinness, eloquence and strategies to confront people in persuading people to purchase a $50 individual or $175 family tickets. Like it or not, how much I really dread putting myself out there, I gotta do it - regardless of what people may think and label me of. The second ingredient to be able to say "I've done my best" is, to dismiss whatever outcome that my effort will bring. To be able to say that, means to I've exhausted myself to the utmost capacity and resources around me, and be satisfied with it. We can't possibly reach the level of redha if a part of us still feels "I wish I had done this and that" or "If only I did this and that, I could've gotten more/it would've been better". We always compare and contrast our result with others. Putting it in a different perspective, I guess, the measure of success doesn't depend on the result. But how much you've put in and redha of your effort. And then just move on. A person who cheats in an exam and gets a good score is foolish to feel good about his result. His might be perturbed by his own action because he can only feel good for so long. Who is he kidding? Himself. Vice versa, a person who fails his exam, but knew he had studied hard and smart for the exam would go home feeling like OK because he knew had done his best. The reward is, a peaceful heart and mind.

That was the part of me that I wasn't sure of. If the mission had failed, I could've easily blamed it on myself for not doing my best. We're talking about the effect that a minute cause could have on a macro scale. Nevertheless, Allah's mercy prevails over His wrath. He granted us with amazing success. The wonder is like those who witness the glory of Badr thinking how could this had happened. Maybe the "we" that I suggest here is really "them". I did so little even a speck of dust seemed bigger.
"And already had Allah given you victory at [the battle of] Badr while you were few in number. Then fear Allah ; perhaps you will be grateful. 
[Remember] when you said to the believers, "Is it not sufficient for you that your Lord should reinforce you with three thousand angels sent down? 
Yes, if you remain patient and conscious of Allah and the enemy come upon you [attacking] in rage, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels having marks [of distinction] 
And Allah made it not except as [a sign of] good tidings for you and to reassure your hearts thereby. And victory is not except from Allah , the Exalted in Might, the Wise -" Ali-Imran 3:123-126
As the amount of donation was brought down lower, from $10 000 to $5000, a NoName bro called out  to pledge $5000. When It was brought down to even a lower amount, $1000, the same bro called out and gave a pledge of another $5000. Bro Hammouda said "This is the example of Nur ala Nur". Tersebak aku. Subhanallah. Ni yg jeles ni. Ini baru pujian daripada manusia..belum lagi dengar pujian daripada penghuni syurga :') That bro is a gift and rahmah to this ummah. And so many other brothers and sisters who came out that night too. Tiba-tiba bibit-bibit kekuatan dan kepercayaan berputik. Kalau America boleh, mesti Malaysia laagi boleh! Allah buat warna kulit kita berbeza2 supaya kita, orang2 yang berjenis2 ni berlumba2 mengerjakan kebaikan. Yes we are One, but it takes a lot of fractions to make up a solid 1. :)

Inshallah this is not the end of it. Everyone's fired up to mujahadah. I realize that since I couldn't contribute as much due to school, family and assignment conflict, I need to set my own ground to reconcile with my own self. Try again, ateeqa nasha. You'll either fail better or succeed better. Saayang masjid kite.

...just not enough space to accommodate 200 Muslim students and 60 Muslim families around DeKalb areas. 

These girls are amazing! Subahanllah. They decided to go to adults on each table and ask to give some donation :)

Geng Jitra sokmo. With my cikgu sejarah :)

Ayat-ayat Cinta. 

Bukak Quran tadi, tetiba terbumped pulak upon His verses regarding masjid that Abu Amir and the hypocrites dirikan in surah At-Taubah 107-111. Subhanallah. What a pleasant surprise and reminder! :')
And [there are] those [hypocrites] who took for themselves a mosque for causing harm and disbelief and division among the believers and as a station for whoever had warred against Allah and His Messenger before. And they will surely swear, "We intended only the best." And Allah testifies that indeed they are liars. 
Do not stand [for prayer] within it - ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. 
Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. 
Their building which they built will not cease to be a [cause of] skepticism in their hearts until their hearts are stopped. And Allah is Knowing and Wise. 
Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah , so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah ? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.


Do you have any comments, concerns or inquiries? Or else, just drop me a note to say hi! :)