Eid Milad Celebrated with Great Fervor in Los Angeles
By Anila Ali
Pictures by Faiz Ahmed


Eid Milad celebrations at the University of Southern California

The Ismaili community of Los Angeles celebrated the birthday of the Prophet of Islam with great zeal at the University of Southern California.

The event began with a speech by Dean Soni, the first Hindu spiritual leader on a USC campus, who called on all people to come together and promote understanding through interfaith dialogues.

The Ismaili choir delighted the audience with their presentations of naats, durood and salaams to the Prophet of Islam, his family and companions. The choir’s rendition of Qaseedah Burdah Shareef was, perfectly honed. The choir was able to bring out the inner glow that this qaseedah evokes and yet maintain the flow of this powerful naat.

The beauty, serenity and peace in their voices brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience.

The keynote speaker was the young and very scholarly, Reza Aslan. The author of the book, No God but God, Reza highlighted the common features of all three Abrahamic faiths. He recounted the story of Abraham the patriarch of all three monotheistic religions of the world and the father of Ismael and Isaac. He stated that the Qur’an recounts most of the stories in the Bible and Torah; and that early Islam encouraged its followers to read the Torah along with the Qur’an. He left the audience thinking why is it then that the religions of Abraham are so divided today.

After the milad, the guests were treated to a most beautiful collection of Islamic art on display. Among the various artists on display, two were present to inform the audience about their work. Kinda Hibrawi, a talented Syrian-born artists had her most evocative and vibrant calligraphy on display. Kinda’s work brings out the love of life in the beholder.

Another artist whose work was on display was Durre. She is a talented Pakistani artist who elaborated on her style:
“I am influenced by the French impressionists. However, more than the effects of light, I am interested in the composition that the natural environment offers us, which I try to achieve by juxtaposing different shapes and colors together. My main focus has always been human figures, even when I am painting an urban scene or a landscape I paint it as a space lived in. It has been my life-time struggle to distract myself away from the alluring nature and explore the paths of abstraction.”

The Ismaili community must be commended on their efforts to bring all faiths together and hold a truly multi-cultural gathering.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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