December 2019

The Message

A Publication of the Muslim Community Center, Chicago, IL

Vol. 50 / No. 12 / Rabbi-ul-Akkar—Jumada Al-Awwal 1441/ December 2019

President's Report

Dear Brothers and Sisters, عليكم السالم ,
We hope and pray you had a wonderful holiday weekend with family and friends.

I encourage you all to participate in our MCC election process. Our Election is December 8th, and as members, it is imperative that you vote your leaders into office. It is one of the first ways to have your voices heard. If those that you vote for do not get elected, remember, most on the ballot are MCC workers, and they continue to do work. However, by voting for the Board of Directors, it is one step of the process to push for change, push for continued success, and continue with the revolving door of leadership that helps produce transparency within the system. By having new leaders, we bring in new ideas and change things that do not work and enhance items that do work.

In Sha Allah, with your participation, you are part of the process of electing new leaders. The next step of changing is getting involved at the grassroots level. This means getting involved with committees. In Sha Allah this coming year, 2020, we are planning on working on getting the committees back to a grassroots operation where many get to be involved in the process of working towards MCC’s success.

Jazak Allah Khair.

Regards,

Kamran Hussain
president@mccchicago.org
847-452-5811

E-Newsletter Reminder

Remember to be environmentally conscious! Please be sure to contact your masjid office manager at MCC or MEC and convey your preference for our E Newsletter. Also, please update and confirm all of your contact information to be correct on file.

MCC Publication Committee:

  • Shabnam Mahmood—Chair/Editor-in-chief
  • Syed Mahmood—Co-Chair
  • Hafiz Ikhlas Ansari—Prayer Timetable
  • Mohsin Bhatty—Distribution

The Message is a monthly publication of the Muslim Community Center that informs members of administration, organization and committee activities of MCC/MEC. Submit your questions and comments editormccpublications@gmail.com. The opinions expressed in The Message do not necessarily represent those of the Publication Com-mittee. The editor reserves the right to edit all material.

Sheikh Ibrahim’s “Imam-oirs”

During the life of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon Him, was a man who was known as Zahir, may Allah be pleased with him. He was a Bedouin man who did not have much in possessions and appearances.

During the life of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon Him, was a man who was known as Zahir, may Allah be pleased with him. He was a Bedouin man who did not have much in possessions and appearances.

He would be deemed by society, especially our superficial one today, as a repulsive man overlooked by the general population. No father would allow his daughter to marry him, nor any woman would want to be with him (again, according to our superficial standards today).

People today would not choose his company and would rather strive mindlessly after a more “attractive” company. By no means would he be a trend-setter of any kind, nor would his opinions be respected.

Yet, despite the judgment of society, he was greatly loved by the Beloved, peace and blessings be upon him. He was respected and deemed of great worth, by the best of creation. How lucky could one be, so deeply loved and cared for by Muhammad son of Abdullah, peace, and blessings be upon Him? Any of us today would gladly sacrifice all our possessions to be in the position of Zahir, may Allah be pleased with him.

One day, Zahir came to visit the Prophet, peace be upon Him, and was told that the Prophet, peace be upon Him, was not around. When the Prophet, peace be upon Him, returned, he was told that Zahir came to visit. He went searching for Zahir, and found him in the marketplace, selling his merchandise. Without Zahir knowing, the Prophet, peace be upon Him, grabbed him from behind, exclaiming, “Who will buy this servant!” 

A moment of panic overcame Zahir, but when he turned, he saw the Beloved, peace be upon Him, smiling and laughing. Zahir then leaned his back further towards the Prophet’s embrace. He said, “Oh Prophet of Allah (peace be upon Him), indeed you will find me a lost trade!” 

The Prophet, peace be upon Him, responded, “No, Zahir! You are expensive to Allah!”

 This was our Beloved, who would elevate the people around Him and lighten the mood. No one would feel despair or sadness in His presence; rather, elation and joy would fill the air. May peace and blessings be upon our Beloved, Muhammad (SAW)! May we all achieve the status of meeting Him on the Day of Judgement, and be in His company in Paradise.

 Ameen. (Hadith Tirmidi: “Shama’il”)

 

MCC / MEC Women's Committee Events

Alhamdullilah, MEC Women’s

Committee had a time management workshop, “Get Stuff Done” by Sr. Khadija Ahmed. The workshop was very beneficial and well attended by ladies.

The workshop consists of 4 aspects:

1) understanding your priorities

2) calendar management

3) creating routines

4) setting goals.

Some essential points from the session:

– It’s beneficial to make a weekly list of important but not urgent things you need to take care of: personal, family, friends, community, and spiritual.

– Plan your weekly calendar so that your weekend has some free time for yourself to rejuvenate, recharge, and get a break.

– Set reminders, avoid distractions, and reward yourself with some ME TIME, ibadat, reading, exercise, etc.

– Create and execute morning and evening routines.

– Tasks like planning menu ahead of time, laying out your clothes for work the night before will organize you and will give you a good day start, and set future goals.

Alhamdulillah on Nov 4th, our Mommy & Me had a field trip to Long Grove confectionery. All adults and kids had a great time seeing chocolate all around. They watched a video, saw the production area, peeked in to see how chocolates were made and packed, saw the paintings made from chocolates, and made new friends. It was one of the best field trips this year.

MCC Youth In Action

*Past Events: Congratulations to the five semifinalists for the MCC Innovate! Competition. Round two submissions have been submitted, and results and the final three winners will be shared in the coming weeks.

After much thought and consideration, the official MCC Youth tutoring program has been discontinued due to poor registration numbers. However, if you are still interested in a tutor for your child, please reach out to Aminah at aminah@mccchicago.org for more information. The Youth of MCC group met twice with the youth coordinators to brainstorm events and programs for the upcoming year, and several great ideas have been developed.

Sisterhood Circle just wrapped up their series of meetings discussing relationships and will begin their series on wellness.

Sisterhood Circle

She spoke alongside Imam Ibrahim with middle school boys about masculinity and to high school and college students about addiction.

DeenWerks and Youth of MCC had a successful Sisters Career Collective event with over twenty young women in attendance and an amazing and inspiring panel of women sharing their experience and wisdom.

Open gym for both boys and girls has been going very well and has been well attended. Youth of MCC completed a 7 session series on the Signs of the Hour with Ustadh Umair Haseeb.

Upcoming Events:

  •  Youth of MCC has just launched its Middle School Boys Youth Group that will meet every Friday at the Skokie location and is led by young college-age men from our community. The Youth of MCC is planning several events, including a mentorship program, a girls’ movie night and storytime, a roller-skating trip, and more.

Follow us on Instagram/Facebook at @mccchicagoyouth & @youthofmcc for regular updates on more exciting events and programs. If you have questions, concerns, suggestions, or comments, please reach out to our youth coordinators: Sarah Kadir, skadir@mccchicago.org & Aminah McBryde-Redzovic, aminah@mccchicago.org.

Library Committee’s Crossword Puzzle Contest

The Library Committee has launched its online crossword puzzle contest. The e Newsletter will feature a link to a crossword puzzle related to various individuals who have been an integral part of MCC’s history. Unscramble the names with the help of clues and complete the crossword puzzle. You will be prompted to fill out a form with your information. The first three correct completed puzzles will receive prizes and winners will be announced in the next issue! 

Click the image below to play

* Members of the MCC Administration and Committees are not eligible to participate.

Sunnah Foods

As we near the end of autumn, we should make the most of the harvest found at this time. Pumpkins, in particular. From pumpkin-flavored lattes to muffins, pumpkins are popular and rightfully so. Pumpkins were one of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) favorite foods.

Anas bin Malik, the close companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reported, “A tailor invited Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) to a meal which he had prepared. I went along with Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) to that feast. He presented to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) barley bread and soup containing pumpkin, and sliced pieces of meat. I saw Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) going after the pumpkin round the dish, so I have always liked the pumpkin since that day.” (Muslim) On another occasion, Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet (PBUH) used to like pumpkin. He was brought some food and invited to eat. I picked up the pumpkin in the plate and put it before him because I knew He liked it.” (Tirmidhi)

Scientific research has revealed the health promoting properties of this noble vegetable. Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A and C. It is one of the best known sources of the anti-oxidant beta-carotene and it contains good amounts of vitamin E and the B vitamins and also iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

Pumpkin Chickpea Curry

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 jalapeños, seeded or not, thinly

sliced

1 bay leaf

1 knob ginger (about 1 inch), minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 ½ teaspoons garam masala

1 (13.5-ounce) can pumpkin purée

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed & drained

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (do not use light coconut milk)

1 ½ teaspoons salt (or to your taste)

¾ cup chopped cilantro for garnish

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

PREPARATION

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, jalapeño and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden on the edges, about 8 minutes.

Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in garam masala, cumin and turmeric; cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Stir in chickpeas, coconut milk, pumpkin, 1/2 cup water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let the flavors meld. (Add more water if it starts to look too thick.) Stir in cilantro and lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Serve over rice, couscous, or noodles if you like, and top with more cilantro and lime wedges on the side.