IECRC Conference on Peace and
Spiritual Harmony

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali


The Hayward, CA-based Islamic Educational and Cultural Research Center (IECRC), held its 3rd Annual National Conference entitled “Celebrating the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him): Creating Spiritual & Social Harmony for Humanity,” at at Hayward’s Centennial Hall, on June 19, 2005.
The Conference drew several hundred people from across the country. The panel of presenters included Dr. Usha Sanyal, Author and Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of History, Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina; Rev. Kelly Childress, Spiritual Care Coordinator and Chaplain at Kaiser Hayward; Mr. Sharaaz Khan, Director of IECRC; Syeda Zille Humma Ayyaz, Research Scholar at IECRC; Mufti Azeem, Imam at Yuba City Islamic Center; Dr. Mohammad Ahmed Qadri, Founding Director of IECRC and world-renowned Qur’an reciter, Qari Syed Sadaqat Ali of Pakistan.
Mayor Roberta Cooper sent IECRC a written message of welcome, congratulations and goodwill on the occasion of its 3rd Annual Conference. She expressed pleasure at IECRC’s choice of Hayward as the location for their special event. “I encourage all residents of Hayward to learn more about the Islamic culture. I am confident that this conference will educate many about the Islamic people by celebrating Islamic heritage and culture,” she wrote in the letter she sent in lieu of her not being able to attend.
Dr. Usha Sanyal of Queens University, North Carolina, presented her research paper “Ahmed Raza Khan: his scholarship, spirituality, and love for the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)” that she had specially prepared for IECRC’s 3rd Annual Conference.
Rev. Kelly Childress, Spiritual Care Coordinator and Chaplain at Kaiser Hospital in Hayward, shared her views and experiences offering services to terminally ill patients. She remarked that during a patient’s last moments they are faced with the most essential questions about life and caring for his spiritual needs are vital.
Dr. Mohammad Ahmed Qadri, Founding Director of IECRC, gave an extraordinarily informative talk (by telephone) explaining the status of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the importance of commemorating and celebrating the Milad Shareef (Blessed Birth) as a form of “Eid”. He said that it is imperative that people understand that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had called Friday as a day of “Eid” for the Muslims.
Syeda Zille Humma Ayyaz of IECRC presented a research article quoting many of the greatest scholars and saints of the Islamic tradition and what they have written about the status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The guest of honor was Qari Syed Sadaqat Ali of Pakistan who recited the Holy Qur’an and Naat in his melodious voice quenching the thirst of the eagerly awaiting audience. There were many other very talented Naat reciters who presented their heart-warming pieces. Mr. Akhtar Shah, a well-known community member, compered the adult section.
On the occasion of IECRC’s 3rd Annual Conference, Mr. Sharaaz Khan of the IECRC released his latest book: “The Spirit of Islam” which is available from the IECRC office.
The day-long conference included a colorful children’s program where children as young as three years old recited poetry in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Sisters Syeda Zille Humma Ayyaz and Fatima Sharaaz Qadri were comperes of the children’s program. Syeda Zille Humma emphasized the importance of teaching children from a very young age about the importance of loving the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
On behalf of IECRC Board of Directors and members, Mr. Ayyaz Yousaf, Managing Director of IECRC, offered a vote of thanks appreciating all the speakers and reciters who took time out from their busy schedules to make IECRC’s 3rd Annual Conference a great success. He also thanked the numerous volunteers whose phenomenal efforts allowed for a smooth and organized program. Mr. Yousaf thanked members of the media for helping to advertise this event, particularly the Pakistan Link.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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