Special Event catered to people of Other Faiths
“Window To Islam” is a diverse interactive gathering providing a forum for people of all faiths and backgrounds to discuss a range of socio-religious issues pertaining to Islam and America. This entire day program features Informative Sessions, Extensive Q&A Rounds, Cultural Bazaar, Art Exhibitions, Cross Culture Interaction and much more!
Every year, thousands of Muslims from across the continent gather at the ICNA Annual Convention to learn and educate each other. However, we felt there was a lack of engagement with the local community and a need arose to reach out and offer a bridge of understanding and friendship to the diverse and dynamic community that resides around the historic city of Baltimore.
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to attend an interactive Symposium – “Window to Islam” at our annual convention being held right here in the heart of Maryland at the Baltimore Convention Center on Saturday, May 24th 2:00 PM- 8:00 PM.
By Haseeba Syed
Let’s imagine, you come home after a long hard day of work, or school. Or, you’ve been running errands and doing other chores all day. You turn on the television, and tune to the news channel after dinner. Some of the words you hear most often include Muslim, Islam, and Muhammad. But what do you really know about Muslims and Islam besides what you’ve heard on the news and seen on TV?
You deserve to know what Islam really is about. “Islam” means submission to the will of God. It is a complete way of life, not just a religion. There are more than 7 million Muslims here in the United States. People of all cultures around the world represent Islam; Muslims are not just from the Middle East or South Asia.
Some common misconceptions about Islam pertain to Islam and women. Many people do not know the real reason why Muslim women wear a headscarf or dress modestly. Another misconception about Islam relates to terrorism, and violence. Another misconception relates to the Prophet Muhammad, and his position in Islam.
Here is your chance, to actually learn the truth about Islam and get your questions answered from real Muslim scholars. On Saturday, May 25th, a free symposium will be offered entitled “A Window to Islam.” This seminar is open to people of all faiths. The aspects involved in this presentation include an open question and answer session, along with a presentation about Islam’s approach to the family system and how to overcome family challenges. Also, there is a presentation that explores The Qur’an, which is the Holy Book for Muslims. Also, misconceptions about Islam will be explored. The origin of the Qur’an will be addressed. In addition, there will be live performances of Islamic songs and a cultural bazaar tour. The evening will conclude with an ethnic dinner.
This is a great opportunity for people of all faiths to open lines of communication and to discuss various issues pertaining to Islam and America. This event will encourage dialogue between people of different cultures and religions. One of the only ways to increase tolerance is through knowledge of each other’s beliefs and ideals. You may be surprised to know how many things Muslims have in common with people of other faiths. Muslims actually do believe that Jesus, Abraham, and Moses were all prophets. There are so many other similarities, and they will be discussed at the conference.
Come join the Muslim community and learn the truth about Islam. Get your questions answered from Muslim scholars that have a high degree of knowledge. Learn more about the similarities Islam has with other faiths. Take a tour of the bazaar and learn about different cultures. Come have dinner hosted by Muslims that are more than willing to answer any questions you may have. The symposium will take place on Saturday, May 24th, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, at the Baltimore Convention Center. Don’t miss this opportunity, and don’t forget to bring a friend along!
By Rida Bint Fozi
“You really have to go and find what the truth of people is.”- Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President, Islamic Society of North America
The amount of people that flooded into Window to Islam at the ICNA-MAS Convention this past weekend attests to many things, among them this— that there is a relentless desire to find the truth of Islam, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Window to Islam is a daylong conference hosted by 877-Why-Islam at the annual ICNA-MAS Convention. This year an estimated 60 non-Muslims registered for the event, and hundreds of convention-goers had filled the room to its capacity by each session’s end. Featured speakers included Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, Imam Mohammad Magid, Nouman Ali Khan, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Sh. Abdool Rahman Khan, Sh. Mohammed Faqih and Sr. Iman Badawi—a true sampling of what the ICNA-MAS Convention, and Islam in America, have to offer.
Guests of other faiths were treated to an open Q&A session, where questions ranged from the common to the curious. “How do Imams react to civil violence amongst Muslims?” “Why didn’t Islam completely abolish slavery?” “Why is domestic abuse present in Muslim households?” The speakers worked seamlessly, collaborating on questions regarding Islam while also delivering lectures on their respective topics. This year’s event comprised of speeches that tied in with ICNA’s “Save Family, Save Society” theme, along with lectures on the linguistic beauty of the Quran.
For me, Window to Islam highlighted the need to bring Islam to the public. It is a privilege and honor that Allah (SWT) has gifted me with Islam from birth; this, however, does not come without responsibility. I was moved to tears by some of the questions put forward—one attendee described him/herself as “a seeker of the truth,” who’d not yet found it. It is incredibly difficult to go outside of your comfort zone and look past what you know for the answers you’ve been seeking. Yet there are those willing to do just that, who show up to the ICNA-MAS Convention or to our masaajid or to our lectures and want to know what we have to say. Window to Islam made me more aware of what I need to be doing—learning Islam so I may share it with others.
At the close of the final Window to Islam session, I found myself hanging behind so I could catch up with Sr. Iman Badawi. A woman in her mid-to-late 40s approached Sr. Iman and was introduced as a recent revert to Islam. I couldn’t keep myself from looking at the small lines in this woman’s face, a clear indication of her age, and wondering what strength lay within her that pushed her to find Islam and latch on to it. It is admirable, to say the very least, and inspiring, to say a bit more. I realized in that moment what Window to Islam was really about—about that truth that Dr. Mattson had spoken about it. About finding it, learning it, loving it and reforming ourselves to adhere to it.