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ICNA 2009 Recap and Pics

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Written by Nihal Khan

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Workshops, Basketball, Nasheeds, Skits, Lectures, Bazaar, and much more! This year’s ICNA-MAS Convention was great!

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The speakers were of course very motivational and inspirational to the hoards of people while the topics were very interesting and eye-opening. Big names such as Zaid Shakir, Faraz Rabbani, Jamal Badawi, Mohammed Faqih, Altaf Husain, Chaplain James Yusuf Yee, and many more were present while Imam Siraj Wahhaj also made his first appearance since he was diagnosed with cancer.

For entertainment, ICNA was able to get Zain Bhika from South Africa to do a concert while Baba Ali from Ummah Films performed a skit. Sunday night’s session left the audience laughing, happy, enlightened, and even crying with these two wonderful performers.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Global Crisis.” The lectures focused mainly on contemporary matters which are affecting us as humans and Muslims. Some topics that we’re covered ranged from the financial downfall, keeping our families together, all the way to the current situation of our Muslim brothers and sisters all throughout the world in places such as Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries.

There were many programs which were taking place at this year’s conference, but one which deserves attention is the parallel youth conference which was organized by YM whose theme was “Reviving the Heart.” The material presented by the speakers was truly enlightening and “striking at the heart.” YM even organized an Intensive class with Shaykh Mohammed Faqih, Shaykh Ahmed Kobeisy, and Shaykh Mokhtar Moghrauoi which took place at the convention and had almost 200 people in attendance, alhamdulillah.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend many sessions because I was chauffeuring speakers back and forth from the airport, but some of the sessions I was able to attend were really touching. In my opinion, if Br. Altaf Husain is present at a conference, everyone should go and attend his sessions since he leaves  everyone on a verge of crying and re-evaluating ourselves.

If you get the chance to attend the ICNA-MAS Convention in 2010, then do your best to make it. It’ll be an event which you’ll be glad you attended.

http://picasaweb.google.com/nihalk1/icna2009

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. MR

    May 27, 2009 at 1:24 AM

    I miss doing the skits.

    You distracted the Ferrari driver. Not very safe.

  2. AsiahK

    May 27, 2009 at 6:09 AM

    my favorites were the youth conference lectures and Imam Omer Suleiman especially, may Allah reward him.

    I had never been to ICNA before, only ISNA. i was impressed that they really were able to keep a nice separation of the larkas/larkis. Also because it’s smaller, theres a better chance to interact with the speakers and shaykhs. Def worth it for that alone. Inshallah I will go again next year.

    • muslim

      May 28, 2009 at 10:55 AM

      Assalamo alaykum.

      I agree the lectures by imam omer were outstanding.

      Aisha K, Can you send me the audio lectures by imam omer?

  3. ilmseeker

    May 27, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Nice pics, alhumdulillah I had a great time at ICNA! :)

  4. Zubair Khan

    May 27, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    Nice pictures. How about having the pictures in a slideshow rather than all of them on the page?

  5. Omar

    May 27, 2009 at 6:42 PM

    Awesome pics, Nihal! I really like the panoramic ones.

  6. Nihal Khan

    May 27, 2009 at 7:12 PM

    Jazakam Allahu Khayr.

  7. Stranger

    May 28, 2009 at 12:03 AM

    Nice pics! Where did the convention take place?

  8. monkeynurse

    May 28, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    nice pics.

    good to see imam siraj, alhamdulillah.

    go icna.

  9. Asim

    May 28, 2009 at 1:44 AM

    ICNA Convention/Youth Conference was in Hartford, CT memorial day weekend. http://www.icnaconvention.org and http://www.theyouthconference.com Look out for next year ia :P

  10. AzamHussain

    May 28, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    What was the attendence at the convention? I hope it was successful and may Allah help everyone out there working hard for the deen.

    Wa alaikum as salam

  11. QasYM

    May 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    Attendance was up from last year, and we had 12k last year. That’s all I know for now. Alhamdulillah it was definitely the place to be. DO NOT MISS OUT next year. Imam Suhaib said he will be there in person next year inshaAllah. And this year was the first time in a long time we didn’t have Shaykh Yasir and Br. Nouman, so look out for their returns next year as well.

    We also had a Qiraah competition with 30 participants and hundreds in the audience. And a Midnight Basketball Tournament for the youth with over 200 participating and another 200 in spectators.

    Like I said do not miss out next year inshaAllah.

  12. Abdallah

    May 29, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    The convention was great but there were some annoyances which really disappointed me.

    1. Like, all the programs I attended started late. It does not show us in a good light.
    2. Some of the speakers prepared PPT slides but in most of the cases the technical guys were not around to fix the projector. So, the speaker had to go on sans visual aid.
    3. The speech in the main hall where Amy Goodman was present was poorly planned. So many good speakers on one stage in the late hour of night. How the organizers expect the crowd to listen to Prof. Momtaz after Goodman and Yee !! So, Prof. Momtaz spoke for 2 mins and finished it.
    4. The worst thing in the whole program was the interruption of the speech of Dr. Umer Chapra for four times in five minutes. Some folks were so serious to call others for prayer that they tied the mic of the prayer to the main hall as if Muslims who drove hundreds of miles to come to this convocation will miss the Salat?? It was annoying at best.
    5. The fund raising session was a big mess with so many unplanned speakers talked at length and forced the next program to start late.
    6. The eulogy of Dr. Esposito in the Main hall became boring with many repetitions. It should have been succinct. probably we take things a little too far than what is needed.
    7. The overall organization of the convention was lose and verbose.
    8. The presence of Desi folks in the ICNA executive committee was very much visible. They should think about not making it a Subcontinental Club by including more folks of different background.

    InshAllah I hope that the future ICNA will be better than this year. But, one great thing I left with from this convention is the feelings of brotherhood among us and the way Muslims as a community is gaining foothold in the mainstream America.

    • AzamHussain

      June 1, 2009 at 11:33 AM

      “The presence of Desi folks”

      Let me start by saying that I am absolutely not a nationalist or anything like that, we are all Muslims first, second, third, you get the idea. I have heard this a lot about ICNA, ISNA, MSAs, and many other organizations. I really don’t feel like anyone is discouraging specifc ethnicities from working in these groups. If people decide to work in a group, they will be represented. Unfortunately, many of the non-desis have groups that specifically proclaim a certain ethnic affiliation and they tend to work within those groups instead.

    • ABC

      June 12, 2009 at 5:18 PM

      I’ll also clarify on the “presence of Desi folks” because it’s a misunderstanding that’s leveled at certain organizations even thought it’s not really the organization’s fault.

      Like Br. Azam said, no one is discouraging anyone of any ethnicity from working in these particular organization.

      The thing you have to understand is, people will naturally tend to gravitate toward an organization that has people of a similar background as theirs, because they will feel more comfortable in the presence of people that are like them. For example, if perhaps you saw the MAS executive committee, you might complain about there being too many Arab folks. If perhaps you saw MANA’s committee, you might complain about there being too many African-American folks. However, with that said, yes, their are some Islamic groups out there that tend to cater only to people of a specific background. But most major organizations like ICNA, ISNA, MAS, etc. aren’t like that.

      Most organizations of this nature (ISNA, ICNA, MANA, Al-Maghrib, etc.) try to include everyone they can, regardless of cultural background, but they can only do so much. People will make their own decision and go where they want.

      The reason why I wrote this reply is because these accusations of cultural exclusivity are leveled at many organizations, and I wanted to clear that up. It’s inappropriate to refer to these organizations as “subcontinental clubs,” or “arab clubs,” or “african-american clubs,” or anything else, for that matter.

  13. Ahmad AlFarsi

    May 29, 2009 at 4:12 PM

    Last year at ICNA, I remember that they unfortunately used musical instruments in their videos during the convention. I hope they stopped doing this inshaAllah…

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