Chicago Roundup
Eid Milan Festivities in the Windy City Continue

By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi


Memon community Eid Milan at the Usmania Restaurant

After the last days of Ramadan, Chand Raat and Eid, Chicago is still not at rest. Eid is followed by numerous Eid Milan festivities that are now taking place in this windy city. Last week, a group of Memon community had their Eid Milan at the Usmania Restaurant. Mr. Rafique Mota, Mr. Bashir Akuly and their friends with their families had luscious Chinese dinner provided by the Usmania Chinese. Though almost all of the attendees were prominent business people from Chicago and are going through this time of recession the same way as any other American businessman but Eid has brought joy and happiness in their moods. Mr. Rafiq Mota thanked every one for coming to the event and prayed for the prosperity of the community and the country. Famous poet and Pakistani community activist Mr. Itrat Hussain was the guest of honor on the occasion.

Junaid Bari with wife Madeeha
Rida, Amara, and Khadija Mansoor with Rida
Khurram Faheem and wife Muniza with sister Sharmeen and uncle Habib Abbasi
A group of invitees

On the other side of the Restaurant Mr. and Mrs. Faheem were having a welcome party for their only son Khurram Faheem and his wife Muniza Khalid Mahmud. They recently got married in Pakistan and are now living in Dubai. It was a welcome party/Eid milan/wedding reception combined. Prominent community activists were also present in this event. Mr. Habib Abbasi, a known community activist and member of fundraising committee MCC, was also present among the guests.


DHS Assistant Secretary Juliette Kayyem with the Saifee community leaders. On right are members of the Saifee community

Chicago Round Table which is a regular quarterly meeting of Chicago community leaders and activists is a very effective tool of communication between the community and the government agencies. It takes place every two to three months in various cities of the US. The idea behind it is to develop confidence in the Muslim community and brief them about various projects and programs undertaken by the security agencies of the US government. These meetings have been taking place since 2003. Recently, an increased attendance of the community leadership and the government agencies has been observed. The Chicago Round Table is being organized by Ronza M. Othman, Policy Advisor in the Department of Homeland Security. The meetings are held at government facilities, community centers and mosques. Last Thursday it was held at the mosque of Anjuman-e-Saifee in Willowbrook, Illinois. DHS Assistant Secretary Juliette Kayyem especially came from Washington to attend the meeting. Asst. Secretary Kayyem was appointed to her position by President Obama and her last appointment was as Director of the Massachusetts Department of Homeland Security.  Juliette herself is a Lebanese American.


Raj Mago, Amir Chalisa and Sardar N Durrani

 She discussed general issues of concern as well as immigration programs and policies with members of the round table.  In addition, there was a presentation on Preparedness and H1N1 flu virus. The president of the Anjuman Amil Saheb Janab Ubai Bhaisaheb thanked the attendees. A tour of the mosque and the center was also given to the participants. It is a beautiful architectural landmark and a very effective educational center for the Saifee community in Chicago. Amir Chalisa, who happened to be a very active member of the Federation of Suburban Pakistanis and many other community organizations, is also a media liaison and PR person for the Saifee community. The dinner was delicious. I personally enjoyed freshly made lassi.

Last but not the least. The hallmark of last week’s events was Mufti Saeed Palanpuri’s visit to Chicago. Mufti Sahib is currently Sheikhul Hadees and Mufti at the famous Darul Uloom Deoband in India. He has a large global following. Last Friday he spoke at the graduation ceremony of Hufaz from Qari Mannan’s Madrasah at the Bombay Hall on Devon. The topic was “Taqleed”. Saturday afternoon he was at the Islamic Center in Rolling Meadows. Same evening he spoke to a large audience at the newly built mosque in Morton Grove. In a very simple manner he spoke about Shariah, Sunnah, and Hadeeth. He specifically addressed the sensitive issue of allowance of four wives by Islam and the marriages of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). I will try to report it in a separate article as it is a common issue the right wing Christian and Jewish scholars and critics of Islam use to confuse the minds of ignorant or young Muslims. Alhamdo Lillah, the meeting was attended by a large number of young Muslims as well. It is possible that their presence made the sheikh speak about this issue.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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