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Brief Recap: Hispanic Muslim Day in NoVa

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Alhamdulillah, after much planning and preparation, last Saturday we had the Spanish language open house event “Hispanic Muslim Day” at Dar Al Hijrah with our guest speaker Muhammad Isa Garcia from Argentina – who is a graduate of Um Al Qura University in Makkah.

Alhamdulillah, the community was behind the event and we had several Hispanic Muslims (as well as Muslims that are not of Hispanic descent) to bring their family members and friends to the masjid to learn about Islam and break the barriers.

I feel this event was a very important step to community bridge building because Dar Al Hijrah is located in an area that has a large Hispanic population and it is essential that we – as Muslims – reach out to our neighbors – by every means available -to help dispel misconceptions. So even had not a single person accepted Islam, I feel that we had to get this message out – and still do.

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This was a very busy day as Dar A Hijrah also co-sponsored a community cleanup that morning in which several of our youth participated in a cleanup with the youth of other faith in the neighborhood. (Alhamdulillah, they brought some of their friends to the event as well)

We put lots of large Spanish language posters (The Discover Islam posters in Spanish) around the masjid and our guests were given a tour of the masjid along with a brief explanation of Islam.

There were then Spanish language lectures and question and answer sessions. I could not understand what was going on, but I was told that it was a good discussion and lots of good questions were asked. The Spanish speakers mixed and mingled with the non-Muslims and made them feel welcome and answered questions as well.

I was really glad to see so many Hispanic Muslims and was particularly touched by one family originally fom Bolivia that lives in this area who Allah has really opened the doors of hidayah to, Masha Allah.

The older brother accepted Islam, then his (blood) brother, his brother-in-law and then his sister (the wife of the brother in law). They tell me that their parents are very supportive and are very close to accepting Islam (Insha Allah) as well. I can only hope to be worthy of such a blessing one day.

By the end of the program, we had four people to embrace Islam (2 Hispanic males, 1 Hispanic female and one white American male who came after hearing about the event from Muslim friends) I know that Nour posted in this post that there were two, but there were two more alhamdulillah

Alhamdulillah, it would have been a wonderful thing to have one person to embrace Islam, but alhamdulillah we had four.

Why-Islam and the brothers that work with Yusef Estes were there giving out Spanish language material and talked to people about Islam with the English speakers that came. It was a great team effort, masha Allah.

Now, we have to work on the hard part: the follow up.

I pray that Allah rewards all those who made this event possible and prayed for its success. However, Insha Allah, this is only the beginning and we hope to have other similar events coming soon as we strive to make our masjids a more open place for our neighbors and lead in breaking the chains of isolation that we – as Muslims in America – have fallen into. It is my hope – in sharing this – to inspire others to do similar events and to encourage those doing it to continue the good work.

If you have any other questions, just contact me.

Please keep me in your du’aa

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. ibnabeeomar

    May 14, 2007 at 8:51 AM

    mashallah that’s a great story, and a good example for other masaajid to try and follow

  2. Hassan

    May 14, 2007 at 10:30 AM

    Masha’Allah. Sometimes i feel hispanics are most ignored community, and its good that work is being done. The reason to ignore is not intentional, its that the language barrier. Reaching out to African-American and White-American is relatively easy, because the scholars and other muslims can easily communicate to them in english, while same case is not true for hispanics. So I believe we should aggressively support young male and female hispanic converts to become scholars. And I mean we should support gung ho. In houston we have couple of hispanic brothers that are going to Madinah University, but I think more should be done, and if there is such organization that financially support young energetic hispanics to study islam, please let us know so we may support such organization.

    On the second issue, doing tarbayyah of all converts (basic stuff), how is it done? Do the converts have to stick to muslims and extract such information, or is there some better program? I have seen many converts going to tablighi jamaat and learning some basic things. And I am not sure how to feel about that…

  3. Mujahideen Ryder

    May 14, 2007 at 1:57 PM

    MashaAllah! Allah hu Akbar!

    You know, I’m a fake latino. Haha! Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America. Physically speaking it’s part of Latin America, but language and cultural wise it’s not part of Latin America.

  4. Umar Lee

    May 14, 2007 at 8:23 PM

    and a lot of Guyanese in NYC lie and say they are Latino because it seems cooler and refuse to admit they have any roots in India. The event was very nice, glad I could attend, my recap of the weekend in VA will be on my blog tomorrow insha’Allah.

  5. Pingback: Weekend in NOVASTAN: From Latino Muslims to Amr Khaled « Umar Lee

  6. Amad

    May 14, 2007 at 10:37 PM

    hey MR, wassup with this India-hating thing man? Just say you are Pakistani ;) can’t get cooler than that huh??

  7. Mujahideen Ryder

    May 15, 2007 at 1:17 AM

    Listen, I don’t speak Urdu, Hindi, Bangla, or any language from the Indian sub-continent. My first language is English. I know Spanish becuase of High School. And I am learning Arabic, alhamdulillah.

    I don’t dress or wear any type of clothing that resembles anything from the Indian sub-continent except for a kufi (but all Muslims wear that).

    The only thing I have in common with the Indo-Pak culture is the food. But even then the food is ‘remixed’ with a Carribean flavor.

    Umar Lee, you are correct when you say Guyanese people lie and say they are Latino, becuase it’s a cool thing to do. But you have to admit, they do have ‘daleel’.

    The most fitting description of myself would be a New Yorker (Brooklynite) with a Canadian/Long Island upbringing in a conservative suburban middle to upper class Guyanese (West) Indian (Pakistani for the Pakis) family who is a wannabe Shaami/Yemeni Arab.

    Basically, I’m one confused brother! haha

  8. Amad

    May 15, 2007 at 7:21 AM

    You are right about one thing… that is one confusing, convoluting identity crisis ;)

  9. Amatullah

    May 21, 2007 at 12:10 PM

    There was a really nice re-cap in the muslim link paper. I really enjoyed reading about Muhammad Esa Garcia and the muslims in Argentina, it’s really amazing knowing that there is so much diversity in Islam. it can’t get any cooler than learning about how Islam went as far as China and even Latin America, mashaAllah wa tabarakAllah.

  10. Ruth Nasrullah

    May 21, 2007 at 12:34 PM

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    Br. Mujahideen, I can totally beat you in the category of confused and convoluted ethnic/cultural background. OK, here goes.

    I’m a Jersey-raised caucasian woman who grew up in a suburban liberal environment with no particular religion except a brief exposure to Unitarianism. My father’s mother was a Jewish immigrant from Poland and his father was a second generation Jew from Latvia. My mother’s father was an immigrant from England and her mother’s family has roots in Ireland and Germany going back to the 18th century. Oh, and I’m divorced from a Palestinian, divorced from a Christian and currently married to an Indian.

    If it weren’t for Islam I’d have no identity at all!

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