IFN Monthly Community Chronicle

February 2019

IFN President's Message

Dear respected members of the IFN community

As-salaam Alaikum,

We condemn the mass shootings in New Zealand where many innocents were killed in two mosques during Juma Salah. Our hearts and prayers are with all those victims of this horrible tragedy. We are taking precautionary measures to increase the security at our Masjid and reaching out to local authorities for their help and support.

We have completed our Syrian Refugee Rice drive successfully and achieved our set goals. Alhamdullilah with your generous donations we have raised $36,000 and as a result one container full of rice bags is being shipped to Syria as we speak and second one will be shipped so it reaches just before Ramadan inshaAllah. On behalf of the IFN Executive Committee, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entire IFN community for their generous donations to achieve our goal. This noble task would not have been accomplished without your help. May Allah SWT provide the best of His rewards to you and your families for this act of kindness and generosity.We pray with all our hearts and minds to Allah SWT to alleviate the sufferings of our sisters and brothers in Syria and restore peace and happiness to their families.

IFN Membership And Renewal

Elections will be conducted end of this year for Executive Committee and Board positions. In order to be eligible to vote, one of the criteria is to renew your IFN Membership by March 31st 2019. Anyone renewing membership after the cutoff date of March 31st will not be eligible to vote in the 2019 IFN Elections. We humbly request all members to renew your membership in time so you can exercise your right to vote, InshaAllah !


IFN General Secretary

BOT Q1 Open Meeting

The BOT hosted its Q1 Open Meeting on Sunday February 3, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM in the IFN basement. The BOT will be holding an opening meeting every quarter for interested community members to attend. The first such meeting was scheduled for Sunday February 3, 2019. If attending members have anything they would like to be addressed at that meeting (concerns/questions/etc.), they should provide them to the BOT General Secretary two weeks before the meeting.

The Agenda for the meeting was as follows :

1. Opening by Br. Diallo

2. Toastmaster's Update was given by Sr. Khaudeja Bano IFN Toastmasters Club President

3. Strategic Plan 2020 by Br. Masood

4. 2019 Budget Walk-through by Br. Shahabuddin and Br.Sabah

5. Capital Project Update was given by Br.Rizwan and Br.Tanveer

6. Q&A session was open to all

Questions should be directed to BOT General Secretary Br. M.B Diallo

( le_vrai_joujou@yahoo.com ) two weeks before the meeting.

Please visit the IFN website for more details:


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Article Written By Seema Khan For The Capital/Multipurpose Building Project

Space A Hindrance On The Path Towards Meeting Strategic Goals

The Strategic Planning Committee at the Islamic Foundation North (IFN) began formulating practical goals for the masjid in June 2014. At the heart of the strategic plan lay the vision of creating a judgment-free social space where the community could engage in learning, develop strong Islamic values and thrive within an environment that supported personal growth.

The committee identified concrete steps that would lead this vision to fruition. One such step was to provide quality education through the weekend school, Hafiz, and Tafseer programs. Alhamdulillah, IFN has consistently delivered promising results year after year. That being said, IFN hopes to venture into running a full-fledged Pre-K to 5 Montessori school on campus. Due to space constraints, this goal has not moved forward as planned.

Aside from functioning as a space for prayer, the committee also determined earlier on that IFN would provide resources for the community to further their understanding of deen. Today, we have a highly qualified Imam who serves the masjid fulltime and lends pivotal support to community members. One plan is to extend outreach efforts to interested non-Muslims as well as strengthening ties with Muslim Student Associations at educational institutions. IFN also plans to boost interfaith and civic engagement activities. For these purposes, developing additional physical space is crucial.

An instrumental goal that guided the vision was to allow the community to collectively and positively weather the challenges of living as a cohesive subculture while having every opportunity to prosper. IFN offers preventative medical services free of charge through the weekend clinic. Following an influx of Muslims into the area, it became apparent, once again, that space had become a hindrance to providing adequate support to the community. The committee sensed a strong need for a multipurpose facility that would maintain a dedicated space for a clinic. It would also house a gym where youth and adults could engage in activities to improve their physical health. Furthermore, the building would run valuable programs such as matrimonial and marriage guidance, mentoring, networking, and life counseling.

IFN has closely adhered to the strategic goals laid out for the years 2020 and 2025. However, moving forward it has become necessary to push the need for improving physical space in order to support our growing community. Therefore, the masjid leadership is pushing forward with the Capital Project which will facilitate the construction of a multi-purpose building designed to meet the growing needs of the community.

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Reflections from Imam Azfar's trip to Japan and Malaysia

"Imam Azfar spoke with the community about certain etiquettes of the Japanese which Muslims can also follow".

Imam Azfar's letter to Mr Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, was published by the The Daily Herald, Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune.


In honor of Black History month, Imam Azfar spoke about the legacy of Muhammad Ali.


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PMP And Scrum Master Certifications

There was a PMP and SCRUM Master Certifications Presentation on February 10, 2019. The guest speaker, Br. Syed Quadri, gave an informational session and presentation on "PMP and SCRUM Master Certifications.This session benefited individuals who are planning to get PMP certification to advance their careers to get into leadership roles and/or who are currently in leadership roles. Please see the attached flier for more details.

Br. Syed Quadri runs the QUAD Project Management LLC (QUAD) which is a specialized training institute. They coach and prepare students for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam. Br. Quadri personally teaches the course himself and has been teaching PMP Exam Preparation courses successfully for more than four years. He has an M.S Degree in Management with a concentration in Project Management, Graduate Certificate in Project Management, and off-course the PMP Certification.He has also served as an Adjunct Professor teaching Project Management, Advanced Program Management, Risk Management and Contract Management courses at the Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University for more than seven years, mostly in their downtown Chicago, O'Hare and Gurnee locations. He has been working for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for approximately 22 years, out of which he served as a Project Manager for approximately 18 years. He has also served as an expert trainer/presenter of project management courses in national conferences/seminars for the USEPA.

QUAD offers a structured hands-on interactive and effective course with a great price, a convenient weekend schedule at a location near you with the sole purpose to pass the PMP® Exam. You may also review the course structure on the web page: www.quadpm.com

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Syrian Refugee Food Drive

Helping Hand for Relief And Development empowers lives by creating opportunities and strengthening the bonds of humanity. Helping Hand commits itself to serve humanity by integrating resources for people in need. They provide immediate response in disasters, and effective Programs in places of suffering, for the pleasure of Allah.

Helping Hand is a global humanitarian relief and development organization which responds to human sufferings in emergency and disaster situations around the world. In addition, they provide emergency relief efforts in natural or man-made disasters and they also work on long term relief and development programs.

IFN partnered with Helping Hands for the annual food drive for Syrian refugees to alleviate their anguish and hunger by sustaining these displaced families with RICE. The focus for this year was monetary donations. Preference was given to order the rice in Bulk and ship full containers to ease and expedite custom processing and firm up shipment of Rice at the end of February.

The cost for a full pallet was $850, ½ Pallet for $425, ¼ Pallet for $215 or as little as one bag for $10.Donations for this cause was at IFN via check or cash. Donations were tax deductible.

Family Advocacy Committee

The IFN community is blessed to have dedicated and experienced members who have played vital roles to ensure efficient operations of the Masjid. One such person is

Dr. Shazia Tayyab who has accepted to lead The Family Advocacy Committee. IFN has a long history of active participation in various activities under the guidance of different committees per its By-Laws. Dr.Shazia's able leadership and expert guidance in this committee will surely be a success. The Family Advocacy Committee (FAC) of Islamic Foundation North’s mission is to develop a specialized program to connect our community with mental/social health services through education, utilization of available resources in the area and those offered through the mosque.

FAC takes a three-pronged approach. The Triage/First Responder Team will assess the needs of those seeking social, emotional and family support in order to provide the most appropriate guidance and referral resources. Team members will be certified in mental health first aid (MHFA). The Education Team will focus on promoting social and emotional health awareness in our community through lectures and seminars, and the Support Team which will form support groups for men, women and children.

Bio: Dr. Shazia Tayyab

Shazia Tayyab is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. She is active in her clinical practice, provides consultation to special education schools in the neighboring counties and enjoys supervising and mentoring psychology students of Masters and Doctorate programs. She has been a part of IFN community for over 10 years and has served as a Sunday school teacher for 5 years. In the past, she was involved in provision of free psychiatric service to uninsured patients through Hamdard Center in Addison, IL.

IFN Clinic Update and News : Article Written By Nancy Romanchek

The IFN Health Clinic recognized its valuable volunteers at a luncheon event on February 3rd, 2019. The clinic is able to function due to the commitment and time of volunteer doctors, nurses, and students as well as support from IFN leadership. The IFN Health clinic aims to provide quality healthcare regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation to the uninsured and underinsured population.

IFN Health Clinic News

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

IFN Health Clinic Volunteers clocked in over 1000 hours of combined service towards the clinic over the last year.

In appreciation for their generosity, a Luncheon was held on Sunday, February 3rd at the home of Yasmin & Dr. Waseem Kagzi. Volunteers received Certificates and personalized tokens of appreciation. Thank you to our Physicians, Scribes, High School Volunteers and support staff!

Special recognition went out to our Registration and Patient Support Team members, Zaina Hussain who donated 138 hours, and Zoya Hasan who donated 220 hours to the clinic.

Thank you, Ladies!


Aasimah Tanveer, Chief Scribe

Ayesha Quraishi

Safina Usmani

Sarwat Ahmad

Dr. Mubashira Aziz

Namra shafi

High School Volunteers

Zoya Hasan

Zaina Hussain

Nishath Hussaini

Sameeha Iqbal

Sumayya Mohammed

Ifra Waris

Over the last 6 months, IFN Health Clinic physicians saw 51 patients during just 2 hours of clinic time on Sundays alone. Two of the top patient issues have been related to Hypertension and Diabetes.

Going Forward: Medication Access Plans

The IFN Health Clinic was awarded a $10,000.00 grant from the Illinois Attorney General’s office earmarked for Medication Access for the Uninsured and Underinsured.

Since the financial surplus was created due to a fine paid by Pharmaceutical Companies who could not prove that they were making medications available to patients in need, the money was re-distributed to Illinois Free and Charitable Clinics across the state and ear marked specifically to provide access to no cost, low-cost medications to patients in need.

On Sunday, March 10th Free Clinic Organizers met with Cara Brock, the Academic Chair of the School of Pharmacology and Dean Melissa Hogan from Roosevelt College to discuss a partnership with the IFN Health clinic. InshAllah, their students of pharmacology and their instructor will set up our medication program through on-site Experiential Learning at the IFN Health Clinic, and then will continue to work with us beyond the term of the grant.

Please join us in making dua for this project in gratitude for this opportunity to serve more people in need through the efforts of our Mosque community members.

IFN Health Clinic Physician Schedule

3/17/19 Wajahat Lodi, MD

3/24/19 Wajaht Lodi, MD

3/31/19 Fehmida Kahn, MD

4/7/19 Noman Haider, MD

IFN Health Committee Updates

Two New Research Projects are coming to IFN, and you will be invited to participate!

The first is the “I AM a LD” Informing American Muslims on Living Donation Research project through the Initiative for Islam and Medicine at University of Chicago will be held at IFN on:

Saturday July 27th & Saturday August 3rd

IFN is one of 3 sites, including MEC and a Mosque in Washington DC. The purpose of the study is to provide Islamically correct information to provide Muslims with the information they need to make informed decisions about organ donation and end-of-life care.

On February 3rd, Aasim Padela, MD, Lead Investigator, and Rosie Duivenbode, MD, MSc met with leadership from IFN and MEC to discuss the program details. Several IFN members have offered to be Peer Educators for the project and completed their training at the Gift of Hope facility on Feb 10.

IFN Peer Educators are:

  • Afroz Rafi
  • Mariam Eldeib
  • Mubashira Aziz
  • Nancy Romanchek

*All IFN Community members will be given more information about the project during the last 2 weeks in Ramadan and be invited to sign up to participate. There will be a small stipend (payment)awarded to each person for participation in the study. A request has been made for Kateeb, Dr. Padel, to perform the Khutbah in June in advance of the IFN session.

The second is “SAHELI, ” the South Asian Healthy Lifestyle Initiative through Northwestern University. This study is to promote cardiovascular wellness in South Asians specifically, through education, exercise and nutrition. It will begin in September at IFN so as not to conflict with Ramadan.

*Information will be made available as we approach September.

A Community - Wide Health Assessment

As part of her Masters of Public Health (MPH) Internship from Benedictine University, IFN member Nancy Romanchek will be conducting a Community-wide Health Assessment beginning April 29th. The greater number of participants, the more accurate the results will be. Results will be used by the IFN Health Committee to collaboratively develop programs at IFN at the intersection of faith and health. More information will follow soon.

Dr. Altaf Kaiserrudin is Nancy’s preceptor. Well known in the Muslim community for being the first Medical Director at the IMAN Clinic in Chicago, Dr. Kaiserrudin will provide consultation for the Community-wide Health Assessment project which will be followed by revision of the IFN Health Committee, the second segment of Nancy’s MPH Internship project.

*If you are interested in joining the IFN Health Committee, please contact Nancy.

The IFN Visitation Team

The winter weather led to several cancellations for the IFN Visitation Team’s initial meeting. InshAllah. We will resume in the Spring; more information to follow.

*If you are good with graphic design, and are interested in helping design calling cards for Visit Team members to leave with patients, please contact Nancy.

American Red Cross Hero Award to Sr. Nancy Romanchek

Nancy Romanchek, R.N., B.S.N., C.H.P.N. M.P.H. of Lincolnshire is the Nurse Hero.Sr. Nancy Romanchek has received the American Red Cross Hero Award for 2019 in the category of Nurse for her ongoing contribution for holistic health promotion in the Muslim community over the last decade. It is an honor and proud moment for the IFN community that she to have been selected from 200 nominations from this organization with a rich Nursing history, and a reputation for helping all people, whenever and wherever there is a need. The American Red Cross provides a good platform to raise awareness and visibility on behalf of the Muslim community. For more than a decade, Nancy has been providing health care, social services and support to the Muslim community; particularly those with limited or no access to health insurance. As the volunteer RN Coordinator and Manager of the Islamic Foundation North Health Clinic, Nancy integrates the cultural and religious beliefs of Islam when caring for Muslim patients. Nancy is also committed to bringing a better understanding of Islam to the community at large through educational workshops.

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IFN Blood Drive

The Annual Winter/Spring Blood Drive was held on Sunday Feb 3 from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm in the LifeSource Donor Coach organized by Br. Nisar Syed Coordinator of the Islamic Foundation North Blood Drive. IFN partnered with LifeSource for the Blood Drive. LifeSource is now called Vitalant. Many members from our IFN community came in to donate their blood. Your blood can be donated anytime at Vitalant/LifeSource, using code 126D which will count as a donation from IFN.


Omar Kazi (847) 668-2686 oak786@yahoo.com

Nisar Syed (847) 984-0476 nisarifn@gmail.com

Vitalant 877-543-3768 Or sign up online www.vitalant.org and use sponsor code 126D

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EtO Presentation To The High School Youth Core Students

The HSYC had a presentation on the ill effects of EtO Pollution in Imam Azfar's Class. It was presented by Sr. Jolanta Pomiotlo and Dr. Alvia Moid to raise Awareness on EtO. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), there are facilities in Lake County close to IFN that are emitting Ethylene Oxide(EtO), a gas that can cause cancer. Concerns were raised about the health of our community and all the residents living in the area.

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EtO : What We have Done In The Community

1. Raised awareness on the issue by informing community members during Friday Sermons and announcements, Newsletter, Emails and via distribution of flyers.

2. A Lecture/Q&A sessions arranged with doctors and experts to educate community members on the issue.

3. Community leads Dr. Karim Syed and Dr. Alvia Moid came up with an action plan.

4. IFN President Dr. Jaseem Anwer approached the Waukegan Mayor, and received assurance that they are working on a plan to test the air quality.

5.IFN President also contacted Lake County United to put this issue on its priority list.

Community members are requested to:

1. Educate yourself and stay up-to-date on the issue. The US EPA has put together a website for Lake County Ethylene Oxide sites with information. Visit these few useful links below:




2. Voice your concerns to government authorities, and request for AIR QUALITY TEST.

3. Attend City Hall meetings, make phone calls and write emails. Below are few contacts

Mayor of Waukegan:

Sam Cunningham

Ph# 847-599-2510

Email: mayor.cunningham@waukeganil.gov

Mayor of Gurnee:

Kristina Kovarik

Ph# 847-599-7500

Email: mayor@village.gurnee.il.us

Lake County health dept:

Larry Mackey

Ph# 847-377-7788

Email: lmackey@lakecountyil.gov



4. Please continue to spread the word, raise awareness and share your concerns with others you know.

Information provided by Br. Rafiq Rakhangi IFN General Secretary

Thank you Imam Azfar, Sr. Sarah Ali, Dr. Robina Chowdhery, Dr. Syed Karim, Br. Azam Khan, Sr. Nahid Khumawala, Dr. Alvia Moid, and Sr. Breera Rihman for all your efforts.

Biweekly Playgroup For Preschool Children

All moms with young preschool children run a biweekly playgroup at the masjid every other Thursday. This playgroup began in November 2018 with a goal of providing the kids with an early Islamic education while engaging in fun activities and free play. We meet every other Thursday. We chose the masjid as our meeting place so the kids become attached to the masjid at a young age.We learn songs and nasheeds, do dhikhr, recite Surahs, read books, play games, and introduce the Arabic alphabet to help our little ones begin to love Islam.The playgroup is appropriate for kids up to age 4. 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. As an added bonus, we also have a short but inspiring halaqa by Sr. Ayesha Quadri for the moms while the little ones enjoy a snack.

Anyone with children ages 0-4 is welcome to join us! There is no fee for this playgroup. The next meeting is Thursday, March 21 @ 9:30 in the LRC.

Information provided by Breera and Wardah

Fifth Grade School Project on Islam, Christianity and Judaism

Ibraheem Ahmed, who is in 5th grade did a project on the similarities and differences on Islam, Christianity and Judaism at school. He had 10 minutes to present. He interviewed Imam Azfar on Islam. Imam Azfar advised him to interview Pastor Alex to learn more about Christianity and Rabbi Ari about Judaism so that he would able to present to his class.

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Upcoming Events- Please Mark Your Calendars !

IFN Community Potluck Night

IFN will be hosting its third community potluck on Saturday, March 23rd at 7:00 pm after the success of its first and second one. The event will start with Maghrib prayers which will be followed by a short lecture , social hour, dinner and Isha prayers. All members and non-members are encouraged to bring a dish of your choice to share with everyone.

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Town Hall Meeting With State Representatives And Lake County Officials

PROGRAM: Open town hall meeting with your State Representative/Lake County Officials:

Please attend the town hall meeting which provides an opportunity to meet our local officials and ask questions.

WHEN: March 22, 2019 (Friday) at 7:15 pm immediately after the Maghreb

Venue: IFN Banquet Hall

State Representative District 51 Mary Edly-Allen

City of Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham
Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg
Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart
Lake County Treasurer Holly Kim
Lake County Board member Jennifer Clark

Dinner will be served.

Family Advocacy Committee

Family Advocacy Committee will present it’s team and vision on March 17th at noon in the basement hall. FAC will offer non-crisis helpline, provide guidance to resources in the neighborhood, educational seminars, support/discussion forums on social/emotional wellness and much more. Please join us with your friends and family to learn more.

Shazia Tayyab, MD

Child and Adult Psychiatrist

FAC, team lead

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Editor's Note

The IFN Monthly Community Chronicle for February 2019 was compiled by Sadia Thiryayi. If you would like to share any community achievements or celebrations, please email Sadia Thiryayi at sadiathiryayi@gmail.com