IECRC Organizes Second
Annual Women’s Conference
By Shagufta Ahmed
Dr. Syeda Saiqa Zubeda, Executive Director of the Canadian
Women Counseling Center (CWCC) and Syeda Zille Humma
Qadri, Chair of the Women’s Committee of IECRC
deliver their addresses
The Islamic Educational and
Cultural Research Center (IECRC) held its Second Annual Women’s
Conference on April 22, 2007 at the Mehran Restaurant in the
city of Newark, California.
The Conference was attended by over 250 women who came from
far and near to attend the grand Milad Shareef gathering
dedicated to the esteemed grand daughter of the Holy Prophet
Muhammad, Hazrat Syeda Zaynab bint Ali.
The term Milad Shareef refers to the celebration
of the noble birth (570 CE) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
as the Light of Guidance for humanity in general and women
in particular. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is believed by Muslims
to be the last and final Prophet of Almighty God sent as a
“Mercy to all the worlds” with the Divine Message
of upholding truth and fighting evil both at the spiritual
and social levels.
Muslims believe in and love all the Prophets of God including
Prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, and Moses (peace be upon
them all). The Pure Mother Mary (may God have mercy on her)
is one of the four perfect women in Islam.
Those present at this year’s Conference included Dr.
Syeda Saiqa Zubeda, Executive Director of the Canadian Women
Counseling Center (CWCC), British Columbia; Syeda Zille Humma
Qadri, Chair of the Women’s Committee of IECRC; Sister
Sohab Hamdani of the Hamdani Brothers Foundation in El Cerrito;
Sister Jasmine Bath of the Yuba City Islamic Center; Sister
Fatima Mirza of Union City, Hajja Sabnam Khan of the American
Muslim Association in Hayward; and speakers from various organizations.
section of the audience
Dr. Syeda Saiqa Zubeda delivered
a poignant and erudite speech on the life and sacrifices of
Hazrat Syeda Zaynab (may Allah be pleased with her) exhorting
the audience to follow in her footsteps. She explained how
Hazrat Syeda Zaynab’s knowledge, virtue, intelligence,
eloquence, truth, patience, submission to God Almighty, and
steadfastness are exemplary. Dr. Syeda shared the pages of
history detailing the historic event of Karbala on a comprehensive
Syeda Zille Humma Qadri gave a moving speech on the importance
of loving the Blessed Family of the Holy Prophet (Ahle
Bayt). Sister Sohab Hamdani delivered a scintillating
address in which she emphasized that Hazrat Syeda Zaynab could
serve as a role model of courage for contemporary women.
Sister Jasmine Bath and Sister Fatima Mirza narrated the great
events that occurred on the night of the Blessed Birth of
the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Hajja Sabnam Khan spotlighted the
importance of loving the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
There were several poetry (Naatkhwani) performances
by both adults and children. Amongst the recitations was a
group naat recitation led by Sister Adiba Iqbal of IECRC Canada
on the traditional Daf of the famous Burdah Shareef
(Poem of the Cloak) of the great Egyptian scholar and Saint
of the 13th century CE, Hazrat Imam Shareefuddin Busiri. The
presentation in five languages - Arabic (the original language
of the poem), Farsi, Urdu, Saraiki and English - was very
There was also an Arabic Daf performance on a poem for Hazrat
Those who recited the naat included Sister Amber Imran of
IECRC Canada, Sister Atiya Sanaullah, Sister Yasmeen Azam,
Sister Mumtaz Begum, Sister Hamidah Mohammad, Sister Ashiyana
Riaz, Sister Aysha Ali, Sister Randa Bader, Sister Youmna
Saad, Sister Nadine Sawaf, Sister Bushra Chaudhry and Sister
Also on display was a beautiful PowerPoint presentation showcasing
the multicultural nature of Islam through clips of 58 Muslim
countries from around the world. It was prepared by Brother
Ahmed Rana, an active youth of IECRC Canada.
The children’s performances moved the audience.
Childcare was organized and seamlessly managed by Sister Shaheen
Awards were presented to the participants by the Women’s
Coordinator of IECRC’s Sacramento Chapter, Sister Fatima
The event was free and open to the public and attended by
women from around the Greater Bay Area and beyond including
Canada, Yuba City, Sacramento, Richmond, Berkeley, San Francisco,
Union City, and Fremont. It was an evening of spirituality,
knowledge, poetry, community building, and friendship.
By holding the annual women’s conference IECRC intends
to highlight the contribution of Muslim women that warrants
attention in the modern age and that can serve as a source
of inspiration and healing to women, both within and outside
the fold of the Islamic faith and practice. Amongst the most
distinguished women in Islam are those of the Blessed Household
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as they drank directly
from the spiritual and intellectual waters of His Blessed
Company and Teachings.
The IECRC is a non-profit, non-political, 501(c)(3) community
service organization based in Northern California. It holds
many conferences and spiritual gatherings throughout the year
for women, children and the entire family. More information
can be obtained by visiting www.iecrcna.org.