IFN Community Chronicle

April 2019

IFN President's Message

Dear Community Members

As-Salaam Alaikum,

Ramadan Mubarak!

I wish you all a month full of peace and blessings. May this ramadan bring the blessings for the entire humanity with unity, peace and harmony. May Allah SWT protect us, forgive our shortcomings and have mercy on us and accept all ibadah and good deeds.

Alhamdolillah we are blessed with beautiful mosque and under its roof we are running many programs which attract and benefit people of all ages. The maintenance of this mosque is our responsibility and for that purpose we do our annual fundraising during the month of ramadan and we urge you all to please donate generously so you get a multitude of rewards.

EID Salah @IFN Masjid

EID will be on Tuesday, June 4th, inshaAllah. Eid Salah will be at the IFN masjid and will be done in 3 Jammats, details as follows:

1st Jammat at 7:00am – Khateeb Imam Azfar

2nd Jammat at 9:00am – Khateeb Dr. Walid Khayr

3rd Jammat at 11:00am – Khateeb Dr. Habib Bawani

Based on the past we have noted that Salah at 9am gets overcrowded, we request that you please consider attending the Jammat at 7am and 11am. If we split equally in the 3 jammats we can do this very gracefully at the masjid. When we are posed with a challenge then we have to come together as a community to address it. Jazakallahkhair!

Look forward to your support and cooperation.


General Secretary

Women's Advocacy Committee

The Women's Advocacy Committee hosted its first ladies night for our IFN community. It was a huge success with a large turnout. The purpose of this program was to give ladies of our community an opportunity to get to spend some quality time for themselves with their friends.

The event started out with recitation of Quran and Dua by Sister Sabiha.

This was followed by Naat/ Nasheed recitation by Sister Bushra Imran and Sister Ayesha Khaleel from our Community. The next program was by Sister Wardah Arif who gave an introduction to brush strokes and movements with brush pens. All in all it was a wonderful event and went really well.

Paint Night to welcome Ramadan

Paint Night at IFN ! Paint nite for girls and women. Many mothers, daughters and sisters took this the opportunity to make it a mother and daughter event ! They enjoyed some light refreshments and followed the direction of our skilled instructor Sister Wardah Arif . Seating was limited and was based on first come first serve basis.

Illinois Muslim Action Day (IMAD)

Many of our IFN Community members including Brother Irshad Khan, CIOGC Chairman, IFN Imam Azfar and many youth from our community went to IMAD this year. CIOGC provides the greater Chicago Muslim community the opportunity to engage with legislators in a meaningful way at the State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois which was held on Thursday, April 11 this year. IMAD is an event when CIOGC leads Illinois Muslims in a day of advocacy and change at the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. During IMAD, Muslim community leaders meet with their legislators to discuss issues and topics that are relevant to the Muslim community.

Pictured below are Imam Azfar with CIOGC Chairman Irshad Khan and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul at IMAD

IFN Imam with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

Umrah Trip Reflections by Imam Azfar

Imam Azfar had an informal talk/presentation about their recent Umrah trip with the community on April 17th from Maghreb to Isha in the LRC.

Strategic Planning 2025-2030

Assalamoaliakum Alaikum Dear IFN Community,

Jazakumullahu Khairan for participating in the Strategic Planning Workshop on April 28th. Alhamdulillah, we had a very successful workshop. Thanks to your active participation, we were able to complete the first step of gathering your input and creating the strategic goals for 2025.

The data gathered during the workshop for all the focus areas were presented to EC and BOT for calculating the cost and impact of the goals. We are currently in the process of compiling the results. Once everything is finalized, all the results will be shared with the community.and will be posted on the IFN webpage.


Oghay Kherzai

Sunday School Teachers Appreciation

This month I want to take the opportunity to highlight our Sunday School teachers. Sunday School teachers are the heartbeat of our masjid. They are faithful to their work week in and week out handling the classes in Quran, Islamic Studies and Islamic History, teaching it in relevant ways to those in their classes. I would also take a moment to thank all of the MUHSEN teachers, TA's and volunteers. As special educators you possess the knowledge, skills, disposition and values to enable students with exceptional needs to reach their potential.

Islamic Foundation North is blessed to have so many great teachers involved in the education program here. IFN hosted a teacher appreciation lunch for all of those who have so graciously served in our masjid at one point or another over the past several years.

IFN Sunday school Teachers Lunches

Serving lunch to teachers is a simple and effective way to let your teachers know that you care. IFN has a wonderful kitchen staff and volunteers that serves lunches and refreshments to teachers every Sunday.
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Panel Discussion : CIOGC - Past, present and future role of IFN

On April 14th, IFN hosted a panel discussion featuring members from our community and outside participants. The panel discussion will will have varying range of topics including but not limited to religious and social. IFN has scholars, entrepreneurs, leaders in our community who will be invited to these panel discussions. These discussions will be moderated and the attending members will have a chance to ask their questions to the panelists.

The first of the panel discussion was held on Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 11:30 to 1pm introduced CIOGC and the activities of CIOGC to the community. Our own community member, Br. Irshad Khan, has become chairman of the CIOGC and it was an honor to have him and Br. Abdullah Mitchell, executive director, on the panel to give the history, the current activities and the future plan of the this organization that is serving as an umbrella organization of the masajids in Chicago land area. The discussion was moderated by Br. Qadri Abdullah.

Panelists: Br. Irshad Khan, Br. Abdullah Mitchell, Br. Syed Quadri

Moderator: Br. Qadri Abdullah

IFN Outreach Committee : Information provided by Sister Helena Abushamaa

On April 7, around 20 students from North Park University observed Dhuhr prayer and stayed for pizza and to learn more about Islam and get their questions answered by the IFN Outreach Committee.

On April 9 the IFN Outreach Committee was welcomed by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) - Waukegan branch to speak about Islam and what it means to be a Muslim woman in Lake County today. The event was well attended with over 40 women listening and asking questions. They also had an opportunity to observe Maghrib prayer, since the timing of Salah fell during the time of the lecture. Many topics were covered including; hijab, sharia law, jihad, women's rights and polygamy.

On April 16, the IFN Outreach Committee hosted 160 Freshmen from Lakes High School in Lake Villa. This field trip was part of their annual Religious Forum which IFN has been a part of for the past 9 years. The students learned the basics of Islam and toured the prayer halls. One group also had a chance to observe Dhuhr prayer. Some of the topics discussed during the Q&A included Jihad, Transgender/Gay issues, Hijab and Islamophobia.

On April 17, 120 seniors from Carmel High School visited IFN for their World Religions field trip. Carmel HS has been working with the IFN Outreach Committee for a few years to facilitate these visits. The students had a chance to learn about Islam and to tour the prayer hall.

IFN Youth at Feed my Starving Children

Libertyville High School Muslims Student Association collaborated with Sisters Steppin Up at feed my starving children. There were many volunteers who gave their time and energy to pack food for the needy. Everyone had lots of fun and will collaborate with others for more events like this in the near future , InshaaAllah.

IFN Welcomes Our new Addition- An AED Article written by Nancy Romanchek

IFN Welcomes Our new Addition: An AED


On Sunday May 5th we installed our first Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in the front lobby at IFN for the safety and protection of our members. This met our goal to obtain and install the Unit in time for Ramadan in preparation for this busy holy month when IFN members of all ages and health conditions gather daily for prayer. Progress towards this happy milestone began way back in October of 2017. The Unit and case was donated by an IFN member who lost their father to a sudden cardiac event.

What is an AED?

An Automated External Defibrillator or AED is a portable and light weight device that can potentially save the life of a person experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. AEDs are safe and specifically designed for use by the general public. AED Units are found in many public places including grocery stores, churches and malls. In the state of Illinois, AED’s are required in dental offices and fitness centers.

How Does it Work?

If a person collapses and becomes unresponsive from a cardiac event, someone calls 911 as another person applies the AED pads to the victim’s chest. The AED reads and analyzes the heart rhythm. If indicated, the device is used to provide an electrical shock to stop an irregular heartbeat, allowing a normal heart rhythm to resume. If not treated within minutes, the person will die.

Why is an AED important to have at IFN?

The IFN community is mostly Asian Indian and Pakistani members. This South Asian population is at high risk for cardiovascular disease. In fact, it has been estimated that 60% of the world’s coronary artery disease (CAD) patients are South Asian. (Volgman et al., 2018, p. 1). In the US South Asians are experiencing Sudden Cardiac Death very young ages. They are developing heart disease earlier, have higher rates of heart disease, and die more of heart problems than their Caucasian counterparts. (Intwala 2018, p. 1)

After calling 911, it takes up to 10 minutes for emergency help to arrive on the scene. For every minute the victim goes without defibrillation, their chances of survival drop by 7 to 10 percent. By applying the AED while waiting for the ambulance arrive, the person’s life can be saved. Once the paramedics arrive, they take over the care of the person to complete the Chain of Survival.

Who Knows How to Use the AED?

At IFN, many volunteers have been trained in preparation for obtaining an AED in this Mosque community. A list of their names are located in the back of the AED case in the front lobby. The following members are trained:

Sarwat Ahmad, Syed Numan, Shama Arjumand , Giovazkie Perez, Imran Faizi,

Nahid Shaikh, Fahad Fazil, Wajiha Syed, Iman Hamdan,Nancy Romanchek,

Naheed Khan, Sabeela Tamkenat, Abdul Latif, Amtul Tanveer, Nafisa Mohammad,

Aamir Tanveer, Ayesha Mohammed, Sadia Thiryayi.

Many more members are required to be trained at their places of work. If you are trained in AED/CPR please Email a copy of your Certification card to Nancy at nromanchek@gmail.com to be included on our growing list of AED trained resource list. Only AED/CPR trained users should apply the AED!

Registration for CPR/AED Classes at IFN this summer will open Next Sunday

Additional AED/CPR classes will be held at IFN this summer. Times and dates will be announced next Sunday. All members are encouraged to register to learn valuable life-saving skills that you may have to use unexpectedly for emergencies at home, at work and at IFN. Be prepared!

In the Fall, IFN will be hosting a study from Northwestern University called SALIHA. All South Asian members are encouraged to participate. The study will address cardiovascular risk factors you can control including nutrition and activity. IFN will then follow with programs designed for IFN through the Health committee. Look for more information after Ramadan.


Intwala, S. ( 2018, May 24, 2018). South Asians more likely to die from heart disease. abc News. Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/south-asians-die-heart-disease/story?id=55406330

Volgman, A. S., Palaniappan, L. S., Aggarwal, N. T., Gupta, M., Khandelwal, A., Krishnan, A. V., ... Watson, K. E. (2018, July 3, 2018). Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians in the United States: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Treatments: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. PubMed, 138(), 1-34. https://doi.org/DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000580

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Romanchek

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IFN Health Committee Update: Article written by Nancy Romanchek

IFN Health Committee Update

Asalamu alaikum! I hope you are enjoying a peaceful and blessed Ramadan!

IFN Mosque Community Health Assessment:

  • Over the next several weeks, a Community Health Assessment of the IFN Mosque Community will be conducted.
  • This Capstone project completes my Masters in Public Health degree from Benedictine University.
  • The results will be used to develop Islamically Correct Wellness Projects at IFN for IFN members through the IFN Health Committee.
  • Primary Data sources include confidential and anonymous individual surveys and Forum Group Sessions with current committees and classrooms at IFN.

1. Individual De-Identified (Anonymous) Surveys

    • Please look for your individual survey by Snail Mail.
    • Completing the survey is your consent for participation.
    • The short survey will include a pre-addressed and stamped envelope to a P.O Box address for this purpose. Drop your completed survey in the mail as soon as possible.
    • PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON THE SURVEY! Surveys have been deliberately de-identified for confidentiality and randomization.
    • If you would like to become a member of the IFN Health Committee, please look for sign-ups also over the next several weeks or Email me at nromanchek@gmail.com.

2. Focus Group Sessions

    • Committee leads and selected classes will be contacted to schedule convenient Focus Group Meeting times.
    • Sessions will last 30 minutes to 1 hour depending upon how much the group has to say!

Results will be communicated to the IFN Community

The entire IFN Mosque Community Health Assessment results, including primary and secondary data sources, and the plan for addressing prioritized needs in the community will be presented in the fall. InshAllah. The more members who participate, the more comprehensive picture we have of our community. Thank you for your interest and participation in this project!

Looking Ahead: “I AM a LD” Organ Donation & The Islamic Perspective

  • On June 21 Aasim Padella, MD from the Initiative for Islam and Medicine at University of Chicago will be performing the Khutbah in anticipation of our upcoming on-site research project on Muslims and Organ Donation entitle “I AM a LD.”

  • On that day we will be recruiting participants for participation in this workshop which will be held at IFN on Sat July 27 and Sat Aug 3rd.

  • IFN Peer Educators

Nancy Romanchek

MPH Graduate Student &

IFN Health Committee Chair

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IFN Toastmasters Club

IFN Toastmasters have received their Charter certificates and the club's charter. Thanks to the sponsors , Liz Sachnoff and Patti Anderson #D30Toastmasters. If you want to join the IFN Toastmasters club, please email to ifntoastmasters@gmail.com or to the club president Sister Khaudeja Bano Khaudeja.bano@abbott.com

Upcoming Events - Please Mark Your Calendars !

BOT Open Meeting

The BOT will host its Q2 Open Meeting on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 at 7:30 AM in the IFN basement. If attending members have questions they would like to be addressed at that meeting, they should provide them to the BOT General Secretary (M. B. Diallo, BOT General Secretary) no

later than two weeks before the meeting (no later than Sunday May 26, 2019).

Agenda is as follows:

1. Opening – Br. Diallo

2. Chairman's Remark - Br Masood

3. Strategic Plan Update – Sr. Oghay

4. Finance Update – Brs. Sabah/Shahabuddin

5. President's Report – Br. Jaseem

Editor's Note

The IFN Community Chronicle for April 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

I would like to wish each and everyone of you Ramadan Mubarak. May Allah Azza Wajal accept our Saum, Qiyam and all our acts of Ibadah, may He forgive our sins and all our shortcomings and make this Ramadan, a new beginning of greater prosperity, success, peace and happiness Allahumma Aameen.