IFN Community Chronicle
Ramadan and Eid-Ul-Fitr Edition
IFN President's Message
Dear Community Members
We are thankful to Allah SWT for giving us the chance to witness another Ramadan and providing us strength and will to accomplish what Allah prescribed on us during this blessed month. May Allah SWT accept all our Ibadah and good deeds. During the month of Ramadan, we were able to restrain ourselves from the worldly desires and exercised patience, forgiveness, charity, love, respect and unity, let us keep this momentum and carry these values and apply them to our daily lives.
I would like to share good news that with your generous donations we have met our fundraising target of $300,000 for 2019 operating budget. Jazak Allah Khayr for your donations and continuous support.
I am thankful to our Imam and all IFN graduate huffaz for leading the taraweeh and I am also thankful to all three Khateebs for giving meaningful and thoughtful Eid khutbas. I am also grateful to my EC members and all the volunteers for their hard work and dedication during Ramadan and for Eid preparations for making this Ramadan and Eid memorable and joyful events for the entire community.
The Islamic Foundation North Community started Taraweeh on May 5th , 2019 and the first day of Ramadan was May 6th, 2019. Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar, is considered one of the most blessed months in Islam. Sawm/Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is obligatory for all Muslims to fast during the holy month of Ramadan. It is during this month that the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Ramadan is a month of fasting in which Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, during daylight hours and practice the art of self-control.
A Note From Imam Azfar
On the first day of Ramadan, we excitedly dust off the cover of the Qur’an, and start reading enthusiastically only to burn out after a few days.
“The most beloved deed to Allah is that which is done consistently even if it’s small.” - Prophet Muhammad SAW.
Here are two items to note this Ramadan:
1) Commit to a juz, or a surah, or a page, or just one line. Whatever you decide, commit to it everyday!
2) Repeat it until it flows off your tongue just as Surah-tul-Fatiha flows off your tongue.
The link below contains the recordings of the lectures after 4 rak’ah of Tarawih
Ramadan Kid's Program and Child Care Services by the Women's Advocacy Committee
The women’s Advocacy committee members with their busy schedule and families continued to provide babysitting and kids program this year as well like the past two years. Babysitting included kids from 2 to 4 years old and the kids program included kids from 5 to 8 years old.
Spots were limited as they did not have much space so reserving spots was key to its success.
The cost was 30$ per kid / month and 50$ for 2 kids or more. The purpose of providing this service was to give access to adults/mothers a chance to pray in a peaceful environment.There was also a choice of not enrolling kids in this program, but those kids were asked to use the LRC with their parents presence, and there was another option to use the banquet hall to minimize any disruption to our brothers and sisters while praying.
Kids Fasting during Ramadan
Children ages 5-12 who had been fasting were recognized for their efforts at IFN, by Br. Wasim Jamili firstname.lastname@example.org. Their names were put up on the IFN LCD TV Screen.
The goal of this was to encourage their efforts and reward them with a well-deserved treat at the end of Ramadan. May Allah SWT give us strength and guidance to fast in the most righteous way and make this Ramadan joyful and rewarding for our community.
Programs for Ramadan 25th, 26th and 27th nights.
Many programs and activities are organized and hosted at the Islamic Foundation North to help everyone to have a blessed and happy month of Ramadan. The main purpose of these programs and activities is to give everyone the opportunity to take advantage of this blessed month of Ramadan in order to draw closer to Allah the Almighty.
Ramadan 25th night - 1:00am - Lecture by Shaikh Farid Fahmy
Ramadan 26th night - After 4 Rakat of Taraweeh Prayers - Recognition and Appreciation by President Dr. Jaseem Anwer
After Taraweeh Prayers - Distribution of Ice-cream outside the Masjid Lobby
Candy Treat for Kids(5-12) who fasted by Br. Wasim Jamili in the Sunday School Office
Ramadan 27th night - After 4 Rakat of Taraweeh Prayers - President's Appeal and Imam Azfar's Talk
Witr Salah and Khatmul Quran Dua was led by Imam Azfar after 20 Rakats
Sweets Distribution in the Masjid Lobby
There was a lecture at 1am - Description of Quran By the Quran by Maulana Asif Instructor at Darul Qasim
Post Taraweeh Lectures during the last nights of Ramadan - Information provided by Imam Azfar
One particular form of worship in the last ten nights of Ramadan is particularly blessed: Itikaf. Itikaf is a spiritual retreat in the house of Allah. It is a time to minimize the external stimulation and distractions and focus the heart on its relationship with Allah.
Islamic Foundation North invited and welcomed all brothers and sisters to its Iʿtikāf program. This year’s Iʿtikāf began at Maghrib on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 and continued until June 3rd 2019. Seclusion was important to the prophetic mission. The practice of Iʿtikāf is an act of worship in which the servant secludes himself to the masjid seeking closeness to Allāh in the blessed last days of Ramadān. It is an act of temporarily withdrawing from the world and reconnecting with Allāh in a meaningful way. In light of this, participants will be encouraged to complete the recitation of the Qur’ān, engage in their own personal supplications and silent dhikr, listen to speeches on certain nights in the last 10 nights of Ramadān, and pray the Qiyāmul-layl. Participants are encouraged to complete the full Sunnah 10-day Iʿtikāf, but are also welcome to stay any duration of their choice (Nafl Iʿtikāf). The agenda for the Post Tarawih speeches for the last 10 nights were on May 24th, 25th, 31st and June 1st.
May 24th Lecture - Shaykh Farid Fahmy 1am -1:30am
Topic: Purification of the soul , followed by Q&A
May 25th Lecture - Dr. Hooman Keshavarzi, Therapist 1am - 1:45am
Topic : The psychology of personal change. Improving our lives for the better, followed by Q&A
May 31st Lecture - Maulana Asif, Instructor at Darul Qasim 1am - 1:40am
Topic : A description of the Quran by the Quran, followed by Q&A
June 1st - Imam Azfar 1am - 1:30am
Topic : Use the power of emotional intelligence to improve yourself after Ramadan
Community Iftars and Suhoor
One of the most beautiful aspects of Ramadan is the love and harmony that is shared among family, friends, and community members who come together to break their fast. Some of our community members are blessed to be close to family and friends and are able to experience that love regularly. But for people new to the area or new to the faith, those separated from family and friends or those who are alone the initial joy that comes with breaking the fast can be marred by feelings of loneliness and isolation. In order that every Muslim from our IFN community could experience the joy and blessings of Ramadan, Islamic Foundation North invited all community members in their communal Iftars and suhoor(during the last ten nights of Ramadan).
IFN Interfaith Iftar - Information Provided By Sister Helena Abushamaa
On May 16, IFN hosted its annual interfaith iftar. Alhamdulillah, guests from many different congregations, schools, educational and civic institutions and elected officials attended. Afraaz Ahmed was our excellent MC for the evening, Maaz Sheikh recited from the Quran, and Ifra Waris read the translation. President Jaseem Anwer welcomed all the guests before a quick icebreaker activity. Helena Abushamaa reflected on interfaith work before handing it over to keynote speaker Eric Vichnick from Lakes Community High School. Following the keynote address, Amaan Rakhangi entertained us with a Muslim youth perspective. Professor Assad Busool introduced his Hebrew translation of the Quran, the very first ever written by an Arab Muslim. Imam Azfar concluded the program with a reflection on fasting and a closing du'a.
Safety and security of Masjid
This email was shared by Br. Irshad Khan to be shared with community
CIOGC Safety and Security team presented the active shooter training at MCC.
As we prepare for Jummah and Ramadan we must also prepare for an active shooter. Our masjid community needs to have a plan in place and be proactive. Those killers want large crowds and our mosques are prime targets at Jummah and Taraweeh so please watch this video and be proactive.
Have an ALICE evacuation plan and listen to your security officers for best practices during these difficult times.
It’s our new normal in the masjids. Lots of love and duas for your community.
Pictured below Br Abdullah Mitchell Executive Director of CIOGC who visited IFN during the month of Ramadan to talk about CIOGC initiatives and efforts to help masajids and the muslim communities around the Chicagoland area.
Compassionate Care Network at IFN
Br Azhar Quader from CCN visited IFN during the month of Ramadan. CCN provides affordable healthcare access, health awareness and public health advocacy for underserved communities.
Ramadan Bake Sales
During the blessed month of Ramadan, our young girls from the community raised funds for the masjid, youth from Sisters Steppin Up (SSU) raised funds for their organization and other bake sales were conducted to raise funds for pediatric cardiac programs in Gaza and Palestine. Jazakum Allahu Khairan to all the community youth girls and their parents for their participation as well as to the general community for their support of this great initiative by our youth.
Masjid Clean Up By The Youth Council
The IFN Youth Council stepped up to clean the masjid on Sunday June 2nd, 2019 from 3:00pm to 6:30pm.Any youth in the age group of 13-25 who were interested joined the clean up team.
Our IFN Youth Council helped clean up our masjid after they are used extensively in Ramadan, this way it helped bring youth involvement into our spaces and surroundings. It also helps to give our youth community their service efforts.
Jazakumullahu Khayran @Youth Council for your noble thought, and for all your efforts to help the masjid and community. May Allah SWT bless you and reward you for all your acts of good deed in this holy month of Ramadan!
Islamic Relief Eid Toy Drive at IFN - Information provided by Sister Breera Rihman
Another successful toy drive in the books, Alhamdulillah!! Thank you so much to everyone who attended and/or donated toys for the Toy Drive past Saturday. May Allah reward you and your families for the smiles your efforts will bring to the faces of so many children. JazakAllah Khair.
We collected over 200 toys again this year, Masha’Allah!!!! We delivered the toys to Islamic Oasis after the toy drive finished. A lot of the children were there, preparing for Iftar. It was such a humbling experience to visit the facility. The kids were so excited to see all of the presents. They even helped unload them from the car but of course, they don’t actually get them until Eid.
Also, a huge thanks to Islamic Relief for all of the supplies they donated for the drive. Please keep Islamic Oasis and Islamic Relief in your duas during these last few days of Ramadan for the amazing work they do.
Looking forward to making this an annual event In Sha’Allah and the continued support from the community.
Eid Set Up
Eid - al- Fitr 2019
Thousands of community members gathered at Islamic Foundation North on June 4th to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the holy month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the month, is seen as a blessing to those who have fasted, allowing them to eat and enjoy festivities along with family members and neighbors.
Eid Salah was held at the IFN Masjid on Tuesday June 4th in 3 Jammats: 7am, 9am and 11am.
Special needs accommodations included Sign Language Interpretation which was provided at the 9 am Khutbah by Sign Language Interpreter Sister Nadia Iftekhar who was present on site. Child care services were also provided for children with special needs by Sisters Moneza Anwer and Mariam Ahmed
Below are the links for the 3 Eid Khutbas.
Khutbah at 7 am by Imam Azfar Uddin
Khutbah at 9 am by Dr. Walid Khayr
Khutbah at 11 am by Dr. Habib Bawani
The Daily Herald also covered the Eid Event at IFN. Here is the link to the article
IFN Career Counselling Services Committee
Dr. Haris Jamil will lead the newly formed Career Counseling Services Committee to help the community members who are looking for a job, looking for a career change, recently graduated or who are devastated by the effects of a job loss. This committee will help to create a plan and help in the following areas:
- Resume Preparation
- Cover Page Writing
- Job Search
- LinkedIn Profile
- Advance LinkedIn Search
- Job Application and help with the Application Tracking System (ATS)
- Interview Preparation
- Thank you letters
The committee will help in guidance and support and help to remain positive and motivated during the job search.
Other members of the committee are Dr. Syed Shahabuddin, Br. Khaliq Mohammad and Sr. Asra Mustafa.
Please contact Dr. Haris Jamil (847-909-4206) if you need help in Career Counseling or like to join this committee to help others.
IFN at Sound Vision Benefit Dinner
Rep. Ilhan Omar was the keynote speaker at Sound Vision’s annual benefit dinner on May 4th. Rep. Ilhan Omar is the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district. Sound Vision is a Muslim organization which builds bridges of understanding among neighbors, produces a daily show Radio Islam, produces religious programing for Muslim children-Adam's World, trains weekend Islamic school teachers, offers mental health workshops, youth training, internships and mentorships, and many, many more programs. Many prominent members from our IFN community attended the sound vision benefit dinner.
IFN Summer School 2019 - Registrations are Open
The IFN Quran Academy under the guidance of Academy Director, Qari Osman Shareef, will enrich the Islamic knowledge by bringing the Summer school program to the young children of our community. The Program will start on Monday, June 17th, 2019 In Shaa Allah. Please take advantage of this program by registering your children.
Registrations are now open for children 4 to 14 years old. For further program details and to download the registration form, please follow the link below:
The completed application forms can be sent to email@example.com or can be given to Qazi Ejaz Hasan in the main office at IFN along with the registration fee.
We hope to see your children registered soon!
We are also looking for volunteer teachers and TAs for summer school program. If you are interested, please download the Teacher-TA application form from (https://ifnonline.com/summer-school) and send the completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it off in the IFN main office.
IFN Health Committee News - Article written by Sister Nancy Romanchek
IFN To Host Organ Donation & End of Life Workshops
How much do you know about Organ Donation and Islam?
IFN is hosting the Initiative for Islam and Medicine (II&M) to deliver a two-part series on end of life and organ donation. This educational workshop is of interest to each and every person who drives a car since in the US, organ donation preference is asked of drivers at the DMV and noted on your driver's license.
This workshop is of interest to any of us who will one day taste of death.
It is better to be educated and prepared to make an informed decision before any difficult decision regarding life and death and organ donation should arise suddenly and unexpectedly for a loved one. Come join us to learn about this important topic and enjoy facilitated small group discussions among your Muslim friends. IFN Peer Educators Mariam Eldieb, Mubashira Aziz, Afroz Rafi, and Nancy Romanchek have been trained to assure that participants enjoy a well-organized and interactive experience.
Come join us for an interesting and valuable way to spend part of your weekend.
This program will be held on Saturday July 27th and Saturday August 3rd. The program includes guest lectures and facilitated small group discussions. Lunch will be provided.
We respect your time and appreciate your participation
Because this program is part of a research study, participants will receive $60.00 as a token of appreciation. Participants are expected to attend both sessions and complete pre and post surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of this religiously tailored program for Muslims.
Registration begins at Juma on June 21
Learn more and sign up to participate on Friday June 21 at Juma when IFN will welcome visiting Khateeb, Dr. Aasim Padella, Lead Investigator from the Initiative for Islam and Medicine (II&M) at the University of Chicago.
IFN Community Health Assessment
IFN Members; Look for the green envelope in your mailbox
All IFN Members will be receiving a short Health Assessment Survey by Snail Mail. This is part of a Community Health Assessment to develop Islamically informed Health Projects to benefit IFN members.
Please DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON THE SURVEY
Please return your survey confidentially. Surveys have been re-identified for this project. Please take a few minutes to fill out your survey and drop it in the mail in the pre-addressed & stamped envelope. Results and new initiatives at IFN will be reported to the community in September, inshAllah.
Focus Group invitations for small group sessions are a required component of this project. If you are invited to attend a Focus Group, please don’t share the content of your small group discussion session with others yet. It is important that everyone brings their unbiased opinions to their group session.
Health Committee Chair
Upcoming Events - Please Mark Your Calendar !
Summer Maktab Program Led By Imam Azfar
Location: Learning Resource Center
Day: Every Wednesday (begins June 26th to July 31st, 2019)
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Age: 3rd Grade to High School
Instructor: Imam Azfar Uddin
IFN Post Eid Community Potluck Dinner
IFN will be hosting the Post Eid IFN Community Potluck Night on Saturday June 22nd, 2019. The event will start after Asr Prayers followed by a short lecture , social hour, ping-pong, basketball, Potluck Dinner, Maghreb and followed by Isha. All IFN Members and Non-members please come and join this Fun Evening and Potluck Dinner. Bring a dish of your choice to share with everyone. The IFN Basement Hall Capacity is limited, so please confirm your participation in advance to anyone from below:
Zeeshan Humayun - (847) 890-2700
Vaseem Khan - (847) 693-9222
Faisal Abedin - (847) 544-6488
Aamir Ahmed - (312) 848-3149
Al Ihsan Academy Calling Applications for Teachers
Al-Ihsan Academy is seeking application for caring and dedicated Teachers who can teach and support Preschool students for the upcoming school year 2019-2020. Applicants should have experience teaching in a licensed childcare facility and degree in early childhood education or a high school diploma coupled with life experience.
Interested applicants can send their resume to email@example.com
Islamic Foundation North (IFN) Summer Playgroup!
Calling all moms with young preschool children!!! Come join our Islamic Foundation North (IFN) Summer Playgroup! This playgroup has put together a 6 week Summer Program. Each session is fun, educational, and deen inspired. Attached is a flyer for all of the sessions.
The first session is this Thursday, June 20th at 10:00 am at Independence Grove in Libertyville, In Sha Allah. The playgroup is appropriate for kids up to age 5. It is structured in a way that all of the kids have an opportunity to be engaged. Having some older children there helps model correct playgroup behavior for some of the smaller children. For the summer sessions, please feel free to bring older children you have at home as well.
In order to participate in a session, YOU MUST REGISTER BY TUESDAY OF THAT WEEK. Here is a registration link for this Thursdays session. Please register by tomorrow:
Join our Whatsapp Chat Group for weekly updates: https://chat.whatsapp.com/IyLjIplq2y9KoA3uBXy2vz