News Action Alert! | In the News ACTION ALERT! 07.24.2006 Urgent Information/Securing Humanitarian Relief From: Dr. Ali Ajami, Consul General of Lebanon, Detroit - Michigan
Zaman International - has been endorsed as a legitimate humanitarian organization that has the approval of the Consulate General of Lebanon in Detroit to collect and oversee the necessary provisions to assist in the crisis in Lebanon. Zaman International will work closely with the Detroit office to be sure that humanitarian aid reaches the priority areas of Lebanon in accordance with field people who are able to identify the need.
IT IS BEST TO GIVE MONEY because humanitarian relief from European countries by International Relief organizations and the World Health Organizations is much cheaper than what we can purchase here in the states. The monies collected will be used to provide "Survival Items" in this horrendous crisis. Zaman International will also work when appropriate with the Lebanese and United Nations sanctioned humanitarian organizations. The two that we have identified who can maximize the dollars are Islamic Relief and International Medical Corp. Both organizations work directly with the International Red Cross and International Red Crescent, Doctors without Borders, and the United Nations Relief Work. This is a global humanitarian crisis. A collective effort with the help of the Lebanese Government and World Relief Organizations is best. If you do not wish to donate to Zaman International, please contact the Consulate General of Lebanon - Detroit, Michigan. Consul General - Dr. Ali Ajami (313) 758-0753/4/5.
Medications and Medical Supplies The only way in which the collection of medical supply and medications can benefit the humanitarian crisis is if enough supply is collected in excess of 250,000.00 to ship. Zaman International has secured the shipment costs of a container and the Consulate General Office has verified that a humanitarian route from Cypress to Lebanon has been secured. If you have contacts with any of our local hospitals and doctors, pharmacists and medical supply companies, IMMEDIATELY, contact us. A storage facility has also been donated and secured for this cause. Call your medical community contacts now so we can begin this coordination. The office of the Consulate General of Lebanon in Detroit can provide us with lists of the most needed medical supplies and we will post them ASAP. Please send this information to as many friends and families, organizations and corporations that you can.
Sincerely, Najah Bazzy RN Servant Leader - Director
Welcome to the Zaman International "While We Wait..." Conference 2006 Web site
Who Should Attend This Conference?
Anyone that is struggling to make sense of the recent world and its challenges. Anyone that seeks nearness to God Almighty and wishes to embrace a God Conscience understanding of the problems that plague the human family such as injustice and oppression. Anyone that wishes to enhance their spiritual realm and hopes to make a difference in their personal, family, community or global environment. Anyone that seeks to understand the concept of the promised and "Awaited Savior".
Why Should I Attend This Conference on a Holiday Weekend?
You should attend this conference because you are tired of not understanding key concepts about our faith that explain the current state of affairs in the world. Our spirits are drained, our emotions complex, and our need to fill a grieving gap in our hearts as the Muslim world takes a political, social, economic and media blitz. You should attend because God has promised Hope and has promised an Awaited Savior near the end of times. You should attend to educate yourself and your family about who that Awaited One is. When will he come? What will he say and do? Are you ready? What do you know about him? What will God expect of you when he gets here? Are we poised as Muslims to meet him and greet him? What is our relationship with other faith traditions and other Muslim schools of thought? What would Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad do during this current time? You should come because many people have worked so hard to give you this opportunity at a first class facility, the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Wonderful world class speakers who have been selected for their ability to communicate with the Muslim American psyche will join us. Great Food, Beautiful Duaa and Supplications – a weekend that can change the course of your life.
Do I have to attend the whole conference?
We hope you would devote two days to your self building, but feel free to come and go as you please. This is why we have selected a conference center that is close to the heartland of Islam - Dearborn Michigan. The center is close to one of the largest and most beautiful Islamic Centers of America, The First Arab American Museum in the West, World Famous Henry Ford Museum and Village, some of the best restaurants outside Lebanon, and so much more.
How will my presence benefit Humanitarian Relief Work Efforts?
Your very presence will show God and all those oppressed that we are trying to make a difference. Education is the great equalizer. If you register for the conference you will automatically receive a bonus ticket to attend a beautiful Premiere Event Dinner held to launch the greater mission and vision of Zaman International. The Proceeds will be given toward humanitarian relief in Lebanon, Gaza, and Iraq.
Can I come to the Premiere Event Dinner on Saturday, September 2nd only?
Yes you can. Each $50.00 ticket will equal $500.00 in relief efforts by organizations such as International Medial Corp and Islamic Relief. The matching dollars have been secured at a $13.00 - $20.00 ratio. But for only a few dollars more you can attend the entire conference for two days with all your meals and the dinner.
What is the purpose of the Premier Event Dinner?
To show the local and national community what Zaman International hopes to accomplish for Islam in America. Also to commemorate the birth of the Awaited Savior in a spiritual setting.
What is the purpose of the Conference?
The purpose of the conference and its content is available for your review. Please Check it out as we personally hope to bring you and your family closer to a deeper understanding of Islam.
"While We Wait 2006" is an excellent opportunity to learn about Islam and the world from a new and unique perspective.
Importance of the belief in the awaited savior: Imam Al-Mahdi Muslims are being Massacred Everywhere: Where is the Hope – Is there Hope? > Imam Al-Mahdi: An integral part of the Pillars of Faith (Usool Aldeen) -->Explore how the five pillars—the oneness of Allah, His justice, Prophethood, Imamate, and the Day of Judgment—are contingent on the belief in Imam Al-Mahdi. >The belief in the savior is a manifestation of the belief in the unseen > Discover what the Holy Qur'an says about the Awaited Savior > The belief in the Awaited Savior stems from an essential human foundation: HOPE > Learn how Imam Al-Mahdi is humanity's only hope How do we know for sure that this concept of an Awaited One is Real? How Do We Put This Puzzle Together – Where – How and Why ?
Imam Al-Mahdi in the Eyes of History Is the message of God the same in the Beginning, Middle and End? What do the other world faiths say about this Awaited One? > Discover how previous prophets and civilizations paved the way for the coming of Imam Al-Mahdi > History puts the pieces of the puzzle together --> Why did Imam Al-Mahdi disappear in the first place? --> Why didn't other prophets and Imams lead a revolution at the global level to create that awaited utopian era? > Biography of Imam Al-Mahdi: from his miraculous birth to reappearance > Imam Al-Mahdi's long life: Is this scientifically possible? > Learn about the history of Islam from the window if Imam Al-Mahdi!
World Religions/Sects and the Awaited Savior What is the role of the Awaited One - If he is here – how do we know? >The universality of the belief in Imam Al-Mahdi > Panel with Christian and Jewish religious leaders --> Discover what the Bible says about Imam Al-Mahdi! > Do all Muslim sects believe in Imam Al-Mahdi? > What have the greatest thinkers of all time said about the Awaited Savior? > Explore how the belief in Imam Al-Mahdi creates a common ground with all other schools of thought and religions in the world!
Role of the Hidden Imam What Does God Expect From Me Now When the World is in Chaos? > In the presence of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, why do we need the hidden Imam? > Significance of the mere presence of an infallible leader > Learn how human nature interacts with the concept of the savior > Imam Al-Mahdi in Occultation: Confirms our free will and the weight of our deeds > Imam Al-Mahdi is our major and final test > Although hidden, explore how we are all subjected to his mercy! > Learn about those who met him and those whom he helped
Our Responsibility How will I know the End of Times is Near? > What is expected from us? > Discover practical applications on how to serve Imam Al-Mahdi > What is Imam Al-Mahdi's goal and how can we advance his cause? > How can we overcome the modern challenges facing the Muslim nation? > Learn how to strengthen your personal relationship with Imam Al-Mahdi and how to gain that intimate knowledge of him > "Just be a genuine Muslim!" Learn what the Imam wants from us
Divine Signs > Discover what are the signs of Imam Al-Mahdi's inevitable reappearance > Learn about the different types of signs and what they indicate > How to look for signs so you're always alert > What will be the global just before his reappearance? How will the World Change when he Appears – What will Life Be Like for me or my children or future generations to come.
Realization of the Ultimate Hope Does God Choose His Servants to Help Humanity? What are the qualities of such people? Is it possible for me to be that kind of person? > Learn what the government of Imam Al-Mahdi will look like > How will he achieve victory and get rid of oppression? > Discover the institutions of Imam Al-Mahdi's rule --> How will the social, economic, religious, and political institutions be like? > Is a utopia on earth even possible?
Hope for Humanity Passing The Torch on to the Next Generation: what our children need to know to understand the Awaited One. > The Humanitarian aspect of the conference
Children's Program God Bestowed Prophethood on men and motherhood on women: what role will and can women play While We Wait? > Guiding our youngsters to Imam Al-Mahdi > Fun and educational media to bring our children closer to Imam Al-Mahdi > Prizes, contests, and more…
Women's Program > Practical application of women serving Imam Al-Mahdi > Learn how to be the mother that pleases Allah and Imam Al-Mahdi > Discover what will be the role of women during Imam Al-Mahdi's reappearance and during his rule.
Ayatollah Sayed Fadhil Al-Milani was born in the Holy city of Karbala in the year 1944. From 1969 to 1970, he studied under the late Ayatollah Sayed Mohsin Al-Hakim. He also studied under the late Ayatollah Sayed Abul Qassim Al-Khoei for several years. While in Najaf, Ayatollah Al-Milani taught Jurisprudence, Principles of Jurisprudence and theology at the College of Fiqh for two years and in the Hawza of Najaf for eight years. In the year 1971, Ayatollah Fadhil Al-Milani migrated to Mash'had and completed his studies under the guidance of Late Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohamed Hadi Al-Milani. In the year 1974, Ayatollah Fadhil Al-Milani was recognised as a Mujtahid in the Holy City of Mash'had. This work of Ijtihad has been published in seven volumes which are currently used in the seminaries of both Mash'had and Qum.
Ayatollah Al-Milani has received a BA in Islamic studies from the College of Fiqh in Najaf, a BA in Law from the School of Law in Beirut, a MA in Arabic Literature from the University of Baghdad, and a PhD in Islamic Philosophy from Oxford University. Ayatollah Fadhil Al-Milani has thirty years of experience in teaching Islamic studies, and has so far written and published seven books in Arabic, two in English, and one in Persian.
He is the Dean of International Colleges for Islamic Studies in London and currently is supervising students who are compiling their thesis for PhD in Islamic studies.
Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini was born in the city of Karbala, in the year 1961. He initiated his higher religious studies in Qom, Iran where he was awarded with a BA and MA in Islamic Studies in 1985. During 1987-1989 he served as a professor of Islamic Studies at the Islamic seminary in Damascus, Syria. From 1989-1994 he contributed as associated imam and professor of Islamic Studies at several Islamic centers and foundations in London, England.
Shortly after his arrival in California in 1994, Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini became the founder and director of the Islamic Cultural Center of San Diego, California. His prosperity in San Diego paved the way for his next mission—a mosque in Orange County, California. In September 1996, he founded the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County. As the founder and director of IECOC, he serves as a mentor and facilitator for the Muslims.
Imam Al-Qazwini is chairman of the Development and World Events Committee of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, and a board member of the council of Shia Muslim scholars of North America. He spends much of his time lecturing across the nation at churches, universities and on panels with other parishioners.He is a charismatic leader who has achieved recognition as an educator, leader, and author.
Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini was born in the city of Karbala in 1964. During his youth, he decided to to pursue the path of his forefathers of becoming a scholar of Islam and religious leader. In 1980, Al-Qazwini joined the Islamic Seminary in Qom. After twelve years of vigorous study and as a diligent seminarian, Al-Qazwini graduated in 1992 with a fine grasp of the fundamentals of Islamic jurisprudence and Qur'anic commentary. During his studies, he administered a prominent Islamic journal called "Annibras," or The Eternal Light. The journal addressed many social, historical and Islamic issues. In addition, he authored two books.
Realizing that there was a dire need for scholars and religious leaders in the United States, Al-Qazwini immigrated to the United States in late 1992 along with his family. For some time, he directed Azzahra Islamic Center, which was founded by his father, in Los Angeles, California. In early 1993, Sayed Hassan was invited by the Islamic Center of America to be the guest speaker for the Arabic program during the holy month of Ramadhan. His visit to the Islamic Center of America marked the start of a new beginning. The community in Dearborn quickly found him responsive to their spiritual and religious needs. Thus, the community at large, especially the youth, became attached to him as their religious and spiritual guide.
In 1997 Imam Al-Qazwini established residence in Dearborn, after the Islamic Center of America asked him to serve as scholar and religious leader. Today, he continues to guide them and serve as a voice for Muslims in the United States.
Sheikh Safdar Razi was born in Karachi, Pakistan and raised in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, where in 1990 he was given his first congregation. He served as full-time imam in Qatar until 2000, when the Islamic Ahlul Bayt Association, an Austin-based Muslim congregation, invited him to serve as a full-time imam at the Al-Mahdi Center. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, he has been working with his congregation, churches, synagogues, and local law enforcement agencies to facilitate religious understanding and tolerance. Sheikh Safdar is also involved in hawza-style seminary training for American born who speak the english language. He recently established an online hawza, and also is working in Dearborn, Michigan extending this type of programming. Sheikh Safdar is also involved in Bashar TV, a US-based tv programming network from the perspective of the followers of Ahlul Bayt[a].
Brother Hassanain RajabAli resides in New York and is the Principal of the Tawheed Insitute. Brother Hassanain came to settle in the United States of America in 1975 emigrating from Tanzania, East Africa. He received his MA in Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado. Brother Hassanain presently runs Netsite Corporation, an e-commerce business. He is recognized at a global level for his oratory skills.
Sayed Mohammed Baqer Al-Qazwini was born in 1985 in the holy city of Qom. Sayed Mohammed Baqer began his studies in Los Angeles and then moved to Michigan where he furthered his academic studies. He is currently working on his BA in Sociology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also a senior board member of the YMA. In the summer of 2004, he returned to the holy city of Qom to continue his fourth year of Islamic studies that he started under his grandfather. He currently studies under a number of prominent teachers and also teaches several fiqh classes.
Sayed Haidar Bahr Aluloom was born in the holy city of Najaf. In 1987, he, along with his family settled in Detroit. He obtained a degree in Mathematics from Wayne State University. At the same time, he was pursuing Islamic studies through correspondence, with the Islamic Seminary in Qom. He is currently working as an Information Technology Architect with expertise in Security Systems. His understanding of the differing educational religious needs of Muslims led him to offer segmented classes in both English and Arabic languages, and of different levels in the areas including jurisprudence, theology, and ethics.
Sayed Mahdi Al-Modaressi was born in Kuwait in 1977. He began his religious education under the supervision of his father in the Islamic Seminary in Damascus, Syria, and later continued his studies in the Islamic Seminary of Qom. He also studied in the United States for some time. He is the author of three books and has been interviewed by numerous newspapers.
Sayed Mohammad Jawad Al-Qazwini was born in Iran. At an early age, he moved to the United States with his family. While in California, Sayed Jawad had the honor of studying and being guided under his grandfather. In 2003, Sayed Jawad moved to Southern Florida where he rejuvenated the Islamic community. Through his efforts and the support of his community, he established the Assadiq Foundation, an Islamic center in Boca Raton. He served as their resident Imam until the summer of 2006, when he returned to Iran to further his Islamic studies at the Islamic Seminary in Qom.
Sister Najah Bazzy is a second generation American that was born in Michigan. For several years, Sister Najah has worked as a critical care nurse and conducts several workshops to train other nurses and help bridge the gap between hospital staff and their Muslim patients. Sister Najah was one of the founding senior advisors of the YMA and currently serves as the executive director of Zaman International.
Conference Invitation and Disclaimer Assalamu Alaikum to all our brothers and sisters in faith and humanity,
On behalf of Zaman International and its hard working servants we would like to extend an invitation to our Muslim and Non Muslim friends and families to join us for a beautiful weekend sure to enhance our knowledge of Islam.
Zaman International is a new organization with an old mission - Hope for Humanity through servant leadership grounded in people like yourselves. Zaman has also chosen an educational and outreach track which will consist of a yearly conference to be hosted throughout different regions of the world. The purpose of the conference is to focus on the concept of the "Awaited One." This concept is about one who will come to the world near the end of time and has been a repeated theme throughout all faith traditions. It is a concept shared by the Abrahamic teachings. In addition it is a concept well understood by Muslims of all schools of thought.
The Zaman Conference this year will also host the "Premiere Event" which will be a formal introduction of Zaman International's overall organizational goals so that major work can begin.
Zaman International is a non affiliated, non sectarian, non marja specific organization. It adheres to the philosophy of faith as taught by God almighty. It upholds the teachings of all the Messengers of God from Adam to Muhammad and Muhammad's Holy Family - Peace and Blessings be upon them all. Zaman International is a neutral organization with one focus only -- to be pleasing to God. Please join us for this inagural conference and event. Register online by clicking conference on the homepage toolbar. Hope to see you there!
Committee Letter In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
"And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs. And to grant them power in the land." (28:5-6)
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatollah, If we look at the world today, we observe that oppression and injustice have escalated to unprecedented levels. There is no sign indicating a change in this dreadful course. However, as all divine religions and great intellectuals have foretold us, the reappearance of the universal savior is drawing closer day by day. The reappearance of Imam Al-Mahdi, the 12th Imam of Ahlul-Bayt, is inevitable, and according to many signs, it may be imminent.
As the Holy Qur'an and the copious traditions of Ahlul-Bayt have expressed, we must make the effort to know the Imam of our time. We must become familiar with him, for we will be asked about him in the grave and on the Day of Judgment. Our answer will determine our final destination.
How much do you know about your Imam? Do you know enough about your leader to claim you are his follower? What can you expect from your leader, and what does your leader expect from you? Why did he disappear in the first place and when will he reemerge? What do other religions say about him? The answers to these questions and many others are crucial to one's success in this life and in the afterlife.
In order to establish a closer relationship with our master Imam Al-Mahdi, we humbly present the "While We Wait" conference. The purpose of this conference is to understand Islam from a new, unique and complete perspective. It aims to create an educational and interactive environment in which our primary responsibilities are outlined and discussed. As the time for the reappearance of the awaited savior, Imam Al-Mahdi, draws closer, how have we been preparing? The conference serves to provide the opportunity for a higher level of learning taught from the window of Imam Al-Mahdi—a new and unique window that will portray the amazing beauty of Islam and extract its hidden treasures.
"While We Wait" is the perfect place to start from scratch and compensate for all those years we have abandoned our responsibilities towards Imam Al-Mahdi. It is an opportunity to make up for our shortcomings with our leader. Furthermore, it serves to assist us in determining what our priorities are, how we can cope with living in the west, and how to remain steadfast in the face of modern challenges.
Participating in this event, which will be set around the date of Imam Al-Mahdi's joyful birth, is the first step towards demonstrating support for the Imam. World renowned speakers will impart their knowledge and expertise. The conference will have numerous workshops and breakout sessions so you can share your thoughts and ask questions that help you understand the concept of the savior better, and understand Islam in greater depth. Do not miss out on this exciting event that will celebrate the birth of the universal savior who will revive the earth by filling it with justice and equity, after it has been filled with injustice and oppression. Save the Date……"While We Wait"
Moderator: Brother Mohammed Shebley Recitation from the Holy Quran: Brother Mohammed Al-Saadi Supplication for our Holy Imam : Brother Mohammed Al-Saadi
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Lecture Hall Duration: 20 minutes
Hajja Najah Bazzy - Invitation to Zaman International Conference
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Lecture Hall Duration: 10 minutes
Sayed Mohammad Jawad Al-Qazwini - In A World of Chaos Is There Hope / Meaning of Zaman
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Lecture Hall Duration: 40 minutes
Sheikh Mohammed Dbouk
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Prayer Hall Duration: 30 minutes
Nightly Spiritual Suppilcation and Motivation
Sayed Haidar Bahralaloom - Motivation
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Prayer Hall Duration: 15 minutes
Haj Abu Maitham - Supplication
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Prayers Hall Duration: 15 minutes
Haj Hassanain Rajabali
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Lecture Hall Duration: 45 minutes
Saturday Program Sept 2, 2006 – While We Wait Conference – Day 1
Theme - Path Finding This Day will help us to find our way through intellectual discourse and reflection. Path Finding concludes that we will discover who – why – and how this Awaited Savior has been promised to the world. Why is he hope for humanity.
Recitation from the Holy Quran - Br. Ahmed Nasser Supplication for our Holy Imam - Br. Ahmed Nasser Opening Statements: Hajja Najah Bazzy
Is There Hope? - The Awaited One & the Unseen Sayed Mohammad Baqer Al-Qazwini
The belief in the Awaited Savior stems from an essential human foundation: HOPE
Importance of the belief in the awaited savior.
Explore how the five pillars—the oneness of Allah, His justice, Prophethood, Imamate, and the Day of Judgment—are contingent on the belief in this awaited one.
The belief in the savior is a manifestation of the belief in the unseen
Location: Main Lecture Hall Duration: 40 minutes
Break: 5 minutes
The Role and Presence of the Awaited One & His Effects on the World Haj Hassanain Rajabali – New York
The role of the Hidden Imam
In the presence of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, why do we need the hidden Imam?
Imam Al-Mahdi in Occultation: Confirms our free will and the weight of our deeds
Although hidden, explore how we are all subjected to his mercy
Location: Main Lecture Hall Duration: 40 minutes
Break: 5 minutes
Is His Return Eminent – Is the End of Time Near? Imam Sayed Mostafa Qazwini - Los Angeles, California
Discover the signs of his inevitable reappearance
How to look for signs in order to always be alert
What will the global state be before his reappearance?
Location: Main Lecture Hall Duration: 40 minutes
Break: 20 minutes
The Importance of Emulation: While We Wait Imam Sayed Mostafa al-Qazwini
Location: Break-Out Room 1 Duration: 60 minutes
Serving Islam Through the Media: While We Wait Br. Dawud Walid - Executive Director - CAIR - Michigan Hajj Dan Mekled - Senior Advisor YMA Hajj Hassan Sobh - Lecturer
Location: Break-Out Room 2 Duration: 45 minutes and 15 minutes Q and A
If You Leave This World Without Knowing the Awaited One Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi & Sheikh Jawad Al-Ansari
Location: Break-Out Room 3 Duration: 45 minutes and 15 minutes Q and A
Islam & Social Justice: Global Humanitairan Relief Work
Part I: Hajja Najah Bazzy
Part II: Misbah Shaheed, Islamic Relief - USA
Location: Break-Out Room 4 Duration: 45 minutes and 15 minutes Q and A
Prayers & Lunch
Prayer Location: Area D Lunch Location: Dining Hall
Duration: 90 Minutes
Is the Concept of an Awaited One Real? - Proof Throughout Human History Sayed Haidar Bahralaloom – Dearborn, Michigan
Imam Al-Mahdi in the eyes of history
Why did he disappear in the first place?
Why didn't other Prophets and Imams lead a revolution at the global level to create that awaited utopian era?
From his miraculous birth to reappearance
Location: Main Lecture Hall Duration: 40 minutes
Break: 5 minutes
How Will the World Change When He Appears? – The Awaited One & Politics Sayed Mahdi al-Modaressi - Sydney, Australia
Realization of the Ultimate Hope
Learn what the government of Imam Al-Mahdi will look like
How will he achieve victory and get rid of oppression?
What will the social, economic, religious, and political institutions be like?
Is a utopia on earth even possible?
Location: Main Lecture Hall Duration: 40 minutes
Break: 5 minutes
Location: Main Lecture Hall Duration: 5 minutes
Break & travel time from University of Michigan Fairlane Campus to the Islamic Center of America
Zaman International Premier Dinner Event
6:30 Registration & Seating 7:00 Recitation of the Holy Quran Br. Ahmed Nasser 7:05 Congratulatory Words - Imam Sayed Hassan Qazwini – ICA 7:10 Premier of Zaman International – Najah Bazzy - Acting Director 7:30 Humanitarian World Relief Work/Lebanon – Misbah Shaheed, Islamic Relief 7:45 Fatiha / Blessing for Dinner
Location: Islamic Center of America Banquet Hall Duration: 2 hours
Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Prayer Hall Duration: 30 minutes
Zaman International Premier Dinner Celebration of the Birth of Imam Al Zaman
• Recitation of the Supplication: Br. Ahmed Nasser • Birth Date Celebration – Dessert and Key Note Addresses • Imam Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini - California – The Significance of Good Deeds • Hajj Hassanain Rajabali – New York – The Face of Islam in America
Location: Islamic Center of America Main Prayer Hall Duration: 45 minutes
Upcoming Projects Projects awaiting funding by generous contributors:
SMART(Smart Muslim Radio Talk) Program The name of a radio or TV presence being developed that focuses on teaching outreach and interfaith dialogue. Since 9/11 and with the recent developments in the world the faith of Islam and its teachings are consistently being scrutinized. A voice of moderation and deeper understanding of the social justice and love that Islam teaches is rarely heard, though one in every five people in the world is Muslim. This program will serve to teach the diversity of the faith and address issues such as racial equality, peace, and conflict resolution in a time where violence has been the driver of many opinions. Islam also has a diverse intercultural population which can share with the world a beautiful matrix of cultural history of the arts and contributions. In the past years Najah Bazzy, Executive Director of Zaman International, has been a guest on several television and radio programs as a lecturer and host, such as Odyssey, the national award winning cable show that focuses on interfaith diversity. She has also hosted physicians on a live TV show sponsored by Oakwood Hospital and Healthcare System as a part of a diversity and transcultural program. Her lectures on intercultural and interfaith dialog have been filmed in churches, synagogues, universities and mosques. Included in the programming are youth issues based on moral and equitable solutions for world issues using the talents of young people, ecumenical scholars and intellects. This program will look for experts that can lead such programs. This program will also allow internships for young aspiring men and women that seek field work. Collaborations with other organizations that seek to heal the world through dialogue will be sought as partners for a more peaceful world.
How Can I Become a Servant Leader for this Project? Funding for this project requires a commitment to programming, equipment, tv station time, radio time, creative directors, air time, donations for stage and set and more.
Youth Mentorship and Excellence in Leadership Program This program is designed to implement a sophisticated youth program that focuses on the development of the future of our world by understanding who will run our world. At Zaman International we strongly believe that every human being is truly a gift, and locked within each human being is the potential to do good unto others. Programs would include arts, theater, sports, tutoring and humanitarian involvement such as soup kitchens and food drives. This program is in dire need of expansion while developing leadership skills, interfaith dialog, and humanitarian outreach. Youth involvement will also include global peace and justice programs that will emphasize a world through dialogue, not through violence. The focus of this program will be of service to the underserved youth but will also have a component for youth leadership and mentorship that allows young adults to learn how to organize, strategize, and implement programs that benefit their communities and the world at large. Volunteerism and Internship programs will help to build such leadership programs in collaboration with other successful programs across the country.
How Can I Become a Servant Leader for this Project? Sponsorships for leadership and development retreats and camps, athletic programs that serve the needs of young men and women, development of the arts and theater, and programs that create a cultural exchange that leads to conflict resolution are all projects awaiting funding for this upcoming year. If you have an idea or passion to support the young leaders of tomorrow's world – let us hear from you. Your expertise in volunteering your time and energy in addition to the much needed monetary gifts to continue these programs is critical. If it takes a village to raise a child it take a village to sustain the child as well.
Community Based Projects Urgently Waiting Support This division requires a tremendous amount of funding and corporate sponsorship. We have lofty but achievable goals that require dedicated philanthropy and hearts so big and generous.
A Shelter Program for Women That Meets the Cultural and Spiritual Needs of Women.
A Home that can Serve the End of Life Needs of People Who Need Palliative Care.
Faith Based Foster Care that secure a child's cultural and spiritual identity
Nov 1 2006, 05:19 AM Fears of Inquiry Dampen Giving by U.S. Muslims By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
Click to view attachment Najah Bazzy, who runs a charity in Dearborn, Mich., says donations have fallen because people think that the government is monitoring their giving for ties to terrorism. She says she receives more anonymous gifts now.
DEARBORN, Mich. — By the end of Ramadan last year, Najah Bazzy remembers having more than $10,000 in cash donations to distribute to the needy, and a vast auditorium ringed with tables groaning with enough free food for 400 poor families to celebrate the holiday.
This year, Mrs. Bazzy formalized the good works she had been doing for a decade among the tens of thousands of Muslims who live in the Dearborn area by establishing a charity, Zaman International.
But by the end of the holiday, charitable contributions were meager. She said cash donations amounted to less than $4,000, and for the first time since she began her charity work she bought food to feed about 85 needy families instead of counting on gifts.
There are similar stories in Muslim communities across the country. Fearful that donations to an Islamic charity could bring unwanted attention from federal agents looking into potential ties to terrorism, many Muslim Americans have become reluctant to donate to Islamic causes, including charities.
"We can't stop giving because it's a pillar of Islam — it's a must," said Mrs. Bazzy, an animated 46-year-old nurse who veils her hair with a headscarf in keeping with Muslim traditions of modest dress. "It's a real moral dilemma. Do you forget about the rest of the world out of fear? My family has been here for 101 years, and as an American I'm offended."
The holy month of Ramadan is supposed to be a time of giving, particularly for the Muslim faithful, for whom charity, or zakat, is one of the five main tenets of their religion. The meaning of "zakat" is rooted in the Arabic word for purification, and sacred texts even define the amount — at least 2.5 percent of net annual earnings.
But recently, fear has often trumped faith.
When Mrs. Bazzy calls people to solicit contributions, they quickly beg off and hang up, telling her later in the grocery store or the bank not to ask them for money on the phone because the government is probably eavesdropping.
Nobody wants to write a check for any amount, and they look at her in horror when she offers a receipt — some of the largest donations she still receives have been anonymous wads of $100 bills stuffed into envelopes.
The developer of the new building that had volunteered office space for her charity begged off, saying that even the potential for a raid might drive away other tenants and bring down rents. The irony, she points out, is that she deliberately avoided any connection with a religious institution, even taking out a loan on her house to finance her longstanding dream of starting the charity. But given her headscarf, many people assume it is a faith-based organization.
Seemingly no individual or organization trying to collect funds is immune.
The imam at the Islamic Center of America, Sayyid Hassan Qazwini, is a favorite of the American government for publicly standing behind President Bush, both literally and figuratively, over the invasion of Iraq.
Imam Qazwini, by his own account, has been invited to the White House four or five times, with the president even photographed kissing the turbaned cleric on the cheek. Imam Qazwini delivered the opening benediction in Congress on Oct. 1, 2003, the first Muslim religious figure accorded that honor after Sept. 11.
Yet, his gleaming new $15 million mosque here, a handsome white structure with a gold dome and soaring twin minarets that is billed as the largest in America, remains $6 million in debt. Contributions dropped sharply this summer after the war in Lebanon, the imam said, when the Bush administration expressed its unreserved support for Israel. Other mosques report similar difficulties. The general sentiment is that the American government's tilt toward Israel extends to hounding anyone supporting Arab causes.
Much of the fear comes from federal actions that many Muslim Americans view as unnecessarily invasive.
The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the Treasury Department has shuttered five major Muslim charities in the United States since 2001, seizing millions of dollars in assets, yet not a single officer or organization has been convicted of anything connected to terrorism. Muslim charities operating overseas have been directly linked to terrorist operations, but if such evidence exists in the United States it has remained secret.
"The sad fact is that there are some Islamic charities involved in terrorist financing," said Daniel L. Glaser, the deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes. "We can't close our eyes to that. We have to find ways to deal with that."
Imam Qazwini, the descendant of a long line of prominent Iraqi Shiite Muslim clerics, points out that many Muslim Americans, particularly those from the Arab world, fled the region to escape repressive regimes, expecting the United States to provide both freedom and opportunity. Instead they find themselves facing similar problems.
"Many people who came from the Middle East still live with the psyche of being chased by the intelligence forces," he said in an interview. "Having these same forces acting here intensifies the sense of fear in these communities."
Ahmad Chebbani, 46, served as the president of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce for eight years until this June. His accounting firm, Omnex Accounting and Tax Service, occupies a neat two-story building on Warren Avenue, the heart of the community, where most of the shop signs are in both English and Arabic.
Arab-Americans make up more than a third of Dearborn's population of 100,000, and Michigan has one of the country's largest concentrations of Muslim Americans. The sentiments expressed here are echoed in Muslim communities across the United States.
Between himself and his company, Mr. Chebbani says he used to contribute some $50,000 annually to charity, the bulk of it to religious organizations. He still gives, but directly either to needy families, business groups or secular institutions like the Arab American National Museum.
As one of the community's most successful accountants — in his office is a picture of him with former Vice President Al Gore — he also sees the tax returns of some of the most affluent families in Dearborn. Some have stopped giving entirely, and some give but decline to claim any deductions. His rough estimate indicates that community giving is down by about half.
"Contributions across the board have been drastically reduced because of the fear; people associate contributions with risk and they don't want that," he said. "There's a lack of trust in the U.S. judicial system, with just an accusation you could end up in jail with secret evidence used as a means of prosecution."
Religious scholars say that compromises made over who gets charity might conflict with Islam's precepts. Verse 60 in Chapter 9 of the Koran, the Sura of Repentance, specifies eight religiously sanctified beneficiaries of zakat. All eight dictate giving to the poor or those who help them. Other charity is considered a blessing but does not fulfill the religious obligation in the same way, they argue.
"There are eight categories; you cannot invent a ninth," said Khalil Jassemm, a professor and lay prayer leader who helped found Life for Relief and Development, a charity based in Michigan started to help Iraqis living under sanctions that now works across the Muslim world. "You can't give money to the animal shelter and call this your zakat."
The offices of Life for Relief and Development were raided in September on the basis of a sealed affidavit. The government has said that the raid was not terrorism-related, although agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force were along on the raid. The hanging questions put a damper on fund-raising.
Events like that have left some Muslim organizations across the country pondering whether to sue the federal government for denying them their First Amendment rights to practice their religion freely.
Like most Muslims interviewed for this article, Imam Qazwini emphasized that he fully supported a crackdown on any real terrorist financing, but that he thought the government was blindly casting far too wide a net. In a speech by Mr Bush immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, the imam noted, the president said terrorists might be able to destroy a few buildings in this country but could not harm its foundations.
"I hope he's right, but I'm afraid he's not," the imam said after being the host of a Ramadan banquet for a cross-section of Michigan's political and religious leaders. "It seems like the terrorists have been able to touch our foundations — our civil liberties are being compromised, our religious freedoms are being compromised."