Muslim Matters would like to thank Br Nihal Khan for sharing his experience at the recently concluded 35th annual ICNA convention. If you were at the convention too or joined in via live stream for some of the talks, share your experiences and gems below!
A few weeks ago, on Memorial Day weekend, the Islamic Center of North America (ICNA) in association with the Muslim American Society (MAS) held their 35thannual combined convention at the Hartford Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Along with the conference, there was a parallel youth conference which was funded and organized by the Young Muslims of North America and the Muslim Student Association. Over 14,000 Muslims from all over the United States and Canada were in attendance for this year's conference.
In the spirit of educating the masses about the importance of family, the organizers of the conference made this year's theme “Save Family: Save Society.” A short list of speakers included Sh. Yasir Qadhi, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, Ustadh Wisam Sharieff, Sh. Abdul Nasir Jangda, Yahiya Emerick, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Sh. Ali Sulieman, imām Khalid Griggs, Sh. Jafer Sebkhaoui, imām Omer Suleiman, Dr. Altaf Hussain, Dr. Talat Sultan, Sh. Yasir Fazaga, Sh. Muḥammad Faqih and imām Faraz Khan. Though the conference overall was truly a success, I personally felt that the Youth Conference which was put together by YM and MSA was the highlight of the whole convention.
This youth conference's theme this year was “Happily Ever Hereafter?” and addressed issues pertaining to life in the grave, heaven and hell, meeting with Allāh, and the like. With the efforts of the organizers from YM and MSA, almost every session in the youth conference would fill up before the session would even begin! After all the chairs would be occupied, brothers and sisters were standing, sitting on the floor, kneeling, standing by the entrance of the hall, etc. There simply would not be enough room to accommodate everyone in the hall. Not to mention that the intensive class which the organizers had put together reeled in more than 100 youth at 8am Sunday morning! But the main aspect of the youth conference which stuck out to me were the speeches delivered by Ustadh Wisam Sharieff. Though this was his first appearance at an ICNA convention, he truly “rocked the house” every time his turn came to address the audience. After every one of his speeches, attendees told me that they would love to see him back the following year and take on more sessions; and that his presence was “truly an enlightening experience.”
To add to the excitement of this year's conference, MuslimMatters very own authors and scholars were in attendance as speakers at the conference. Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan, and Shaykh AbdulNasir Jangda were the main panel speakers at all of the main sessions in the convention. Some of the authors can be seen playing in the midnight basketball tournament in the pictures below!
Overall, this year's convention seemed lively, family-friendly, and beneficial to all those who were in attendance. I know I will be back next year…will you?
More pictures from the conference can also be viewed here.