ISOC Fundraiser a Soul-Lifting Experience
By Akhtar M. Faruqui
Pictures by Anwar Khwaja
Pictures above: Glimpses of the fundraiser organized by the Islamic Society of Orange County Masjid Al-Rahman at the Knotts Berry Farm Resort Hotel in Buena Park on August 29
On August 29 2010 the Islamic Society of Orange County Masjid Al-Rahman hosted its annual fundraising banquet ‘Ramadan 1431’. As has been the norm in the past, the fundraiser was largely attended with prominent community members converging at the Knotts Berry Farm Resort Hotel to demonstrate their profound support for ISOC.
A most heartening feature of the event was the perfect blend of the young and the not-too-young in the organizing team to host the banquet. They included the erudite Religious Director Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Chairman Majlis-e-Shura Dr Muhammad A. Majeed, President ISOC Masjid Hassan Siddiqi, President Orange Crescent Board Jomana Siddiqui and a large number of motivated officials and volunteers. Despite the disparity in age, they all appeared equally committed to the task of nurturing and promoting a better understanding of Islam. The arrangements were impeccable.
The keynote address was delivered by Imam SirajWahhaj who had especially flown from New York to make a spirited exhortation to the gathering to support the Islamic Society of Orange County in all its strivings. He urged the audience to “stand up for the truth” and went on to make many an edifying remark. He lamented that the “opposition to Muslims in the US today is everywhere” but expressed the hope that Muslims will sustain their strivings to make America a better place by making their due contribution in the development and progress of the country.
COPAA President Adnan Khan also addressed the gathering. He informed that a rally was being organized on September 11 to show solidarity with fellow Americans.
Dr Meher Tabatabai made brief but scintillating remarks. ISOC signifies “the future of our children, this is our akhrat,” she said. Dr Tabatabai plaintively described the plight of the Pakistanis struck by the recent flood catastrophe and urged the gathering to support ongoing relief efforts. She asserted that Islam is a religion of peace, the Qur’an mentions the names of Allah, Moses, Jesus and Mary with veneration and its message is essentially one of peace and harmony. The deliberate distortion of Islamic teachings is both unwarranted and unfortunate, she observed.
A video ‘Reinvesting in our future’ shown on the occasion mirrored the history and multifarious services of ISOC. The Center has served thousands and thousands of Muslims in the last 55 years. Its approach remains balanced and it is open to all - Muslims, non-Muslims, neighbors and friends. No wonder, it has emerged as an important center for interfaith dialogue and serves as a mosque, library, school, morgue, and a resource center to nurture a better understanding of Islam.
For most invitees, attending the banquet was a soul-lifting experience, a reiteration of the peaceful teachings of Islam.