November 2019

The Message

A Publication of the Muslim Community Center, Chicago, IL

Vol. 50 / No. 11 / Rabbi-ul-Awwal—Rabbi-ul-Akkar 1441/ November 2019

President's Report

Dear Brothers and Sisters, عليكم السالم ,

I hope and pray that we find you in the best of health and Iman. As we approach the year 2020, I hope you see the bright future that lies ahead at the MCC.

I wanted to make my message brief as these past few months, and we had many programs going on and different events for the community.

First off, the MCC community wanted to congratulate Br. Habeeb Quadri on his NAESP award. He went to Washington D.C. to receive his award. It is at the MCC that Mr. Quadri grew up in, and it is through the MCC Academy where he put in the work to help not only our community but Islamic Schools throughout the country. His impact has also reached the local level with the neighboring communities. May Allah (S) bless him and his family.

I also wanted to make sure you are all aware of the upcoming elections for President and Board members in December. I encourage you all to attend the candidate’s forum in November to learn about the brothers and sisters who are running for the MCC Board. This may not seem like a big deal, but electing our next leaders will dictate the changes we want to see in our community in the future and the direction we want the MCC to go in.

Last but not least, be on the lookout for our first annual MCC Umrah trip led by our Imam, Sh. Ibrahim, coming in March!

Jazak Allah Khair.


Kamran Hussain

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 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.

MCC Census Committee Census 2020

2020 is an essential year for the United States with Presidential Elections and Census 2020 coming up! Beginning of March next year, the US Census Bureau will invite households across the country to participate in the 2020 Census. It’s a constitutional mandate that requires a headcount of every person, every ten years who resides in the US.

​To increase the awareness about Census and help understand it better, MCC has formed a Census Committee that comprises members from significant elements of our community such as youth, women, seniors, & education. MCC Census committee recently held two town hall meetings; October 4, 2019, at Elston and October 11, 2019, at Morton Grove.

The well-attended events and the attendees benefitted from the official US Census Representative’s presentation on Census. A recruitment agent from the US Census Bureau was also present who helped several MCC people to apply for Census jobs on site.

The committee plans to hold more of such events till April 2020 and help our community members understand and engage in this civic duty. If you have any questions concerning future events at MCC or if you like to participate in this mission, please contact the MCC Census committee at

Did you Know: Your count in this Census gives your community a fair share of more than $675 billion per year of the federal funds that are spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, & other vital programs. Your community loses on these tax dollars, and their political power & voice if you are undercounted!

Visit for more information.

MCC / MEC Women's Committee Events

“Women in Jannah,” organized by the MEC Women’s Committee, was a hit among the community sisters, especially the English speaking sisters. Ma Sha Allah, more than 50 sisters, attended the lecture. Speaker, Maryam Salman, discussed the life of Fatima (RA). Women in Jannah is a lecture series. In Sha Allah, other important women of Islam will be considered in the future.

The MEC Women’s Committee’s Mommy & Me also organized “Paint and Party” for its young members. More than 50 kids participated in the art activity. Each kid chose and painted one of many selections provided to them. The young members of the MEC Women’s Committee had loads of fun engaging their creative and artistic sides.

MCC Youth In Action

The Beyond Bilal event was well-received by 75+ attendees. MCC Youth High School & College Book Club Kick-Off event, unfortunately, had abysmal attendance. Another Kick-Off is being planned for November. MCC Innovate! saw nine submissions. Results and round two information will be shared soon. MCC Academy & MCC Youth co-hosted a successful video game competition for boys.

The four events with Sister Menahal Begawala were very successful. She spoke with middle school and high school sisters about relationships.

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

MCC Youth Committee, along with other Chicagoland youth organizations, planned Keeping Our Faith with Shaykh Yasir Qadhi that saw a massive attendance of 2500+.

Upcoming Events:

  • MCC Youth Tutoring student registration has opened.
  • High School & College Youth Q&A with Imam Ibrahim
  • Discussion on Halloween in Islam with Imam Ibrahim
  • Activism in Islam with Imam Ibrahim
  • MCC Innovate! Competiton Round Two
  • More details for all of the above events coming soon.

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, & Aminah McBryde-Redzovic,

MCC Green Team

Islam is a complete way of life. This means we need to take a holistic approach to practice our faith. We come to our masjid to cleanse our hearts and correct our actions, but we must also purify our masjid as well. Therefore, we have created the MCC Green Team.
We should purify our masjid from habits like being wasteful, harming the environment, and being excessive in our use of materials. Practicing Islam holistically isn’t about recycling your bottles after you used them one time. It’s about being mindful not use a plastic bottle at all.

Our initial goals were to do an environmental audit of MCC and identify ways in which we are wasting, for example, water and electricity. Then, over the last year, here is just some of what has been accomplished, Alhamdulillah: 1. The Green Team has been working with MCC to reduce the number of paper products we use and to purchase only eco-friendly products if we must use disposables. For example, we use water jugs and eco-friendly cups rather than single-use plastic bottles at many of our events. 2. Two new water fountains, which include a bottle-filling feature, have been installed in the MEC masjid. This allows people to use their reusable water bottles.InshaAllah, two more fountains will be installed at MCC-Elston.

Our next goal is tackling our excessive use of plastic and disposable foam products. This where we need your help to educate the MCC community and demonstrate how to live mindfully bring your refillable bottles every time you come to the masjid. In fact, why not bring your own coffee/chai mug to every meeting and MCC event you attend. If we all do this together, imagine how many cups will not end up in the garbage.

With such ambitious goals, we are actively seeking to build the Green Team. Please join this effort and bring your passion and commitment to help MCC reduce its environmental impact on Allah’s creation. Please email the chairperson of the Green Team, Dr. Sam, at to join the committee.

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.

Election Committee Announcement

MCC Election Day:
December 8, 2019 from
10 am – 3 pm at MCC & MEC.

Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot:
Nov. 8, 2019
Absentee ballots are available online or you can email:

Candidates Forums:
Nov. 10, 2019 MCC, time 10:30am
Nov. 17, 2019 MEC, time TBD

Deadline to renew your membership to vote:
November 30th

Masood Bijapuri
MCC Election Committee Chair

Interfaith & Outreach Thanksgiving

Muslim Americans have lived on this continent since the 1600s as enslaved people and are the fabric of American society. As Muslims, we give thanks to Allah daily through our five daily salats and regular duas. On November 28th, America will celebrate Thanksgiving Day for a day of strengthening family ties, keeping in touch with their relatives whom normally, they would not have the opportunity to visit because of work obligations and distance.
It would be irresponsible to say that Thanksgiving, or any observance of it, is prohibited. To do so is to say that people gathering to eat, to be amongst their family their loved ones, to express their thanks to God, is an abomination, something that angers God.
“Say My Lord forbiddeth only indecencies, such of them as are apparent and such as are within, and sin and wrongful oppression, and that ye associate with Allah that for which no authority hath been revealed, and that ye tell concerning Allah that which ye know not.” (7:33)
Bring the family and join the Interfaith and Outreach Committee at these local Thanksgiving services:
*New Trier Multi-faith Alliance Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 26th at 7 pm at Sukkat Shalom 1001 Central Ave, Wilmette 60091
*Niles Township Clergy Forum Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 26th at 7:30 pm at MCCA 9301 Gross Point Road, Skokie 60076
*Morton Grove Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday, November 27th at 7:30 pm at St. Luke’s Christian Community Church 9233 Shermer Road 60053

MCCA Superintendent Nationally Recognized

MCCA Superintendent, Habeeb Quadri, is receiving a major honor by being recognized nationally for his achievements. He will be heading to the nation’s capital to receive the National Distin-guished Principal Award. “I’ve been a principal for 16 years,” Quadri said. “For them to recognize a small school in the North Side of Chicago is an honor.” Mr. Quadri has just been selected as a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. He was one of only four private school leaders selected in the entire nation.

MCC Election News

Candidate Biographies


Kamran Hussain
I have been involved in MCC all my life as a student and patron of the masjid. In an administrative capacity, I served on the Library Committee, Fundraising Committee, Membership and Jummah Committee. I also served on the Board for 6 years and Vice President for a few years. Currently, I am the President of the MCC. We hope to continue with the programming implemented in the past and the new ones developed during my first two years as President. Moving forward, we’d like to refine systems in a more structured and organized manner. We should assess the areas where we came short and try to improve; and what is running close to perfect, we want to continue those services and programs. Our focus is to make sure the MCC is a place that is welcoming to all Muslims.

General Category

Asrar Ahmed – No BIO Provided
Afsar Ali – No BIO Provided

M. Usman Baki
Past MCC Involvement: Various Positions held in MCC Administration President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Board Member Various Committees’ Chairman (amongst many others) — Adult Program, Audit, Building, Bylaws (current member), Cemetery, Fund Raising, Election, Library, Planning, Rehab and Welfare, Seniors Sunday School Teacher Other Islamic Organizations: Founding President, Gujarati Muslin Association of America; Vice Chairman, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Vision/Goals for MCC: MCC should be a leader and premier service organization in all fields of activities including education; Compliment youth talent/know-how, zeal and drive with my past experience to achieve the noble objectives of MCC Professional Background: Education: Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, IIT, Chicago Master of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston Retired after 33 years of service from Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago as a Plant Manager (Recipient of Superior Public Service Award from Local conglomerate governmental agencies and National U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Masood Bijapuri, MBA, CSA
First, I want to thank you for considering me as a candidate for Director on the MCC Board. MCC Involvement: I have been volunteering at MCC in various capacities during the past 20 years. My first position at MCC was the Chairman of the Annual Dinner Committee in 2003- 2004. I served as MCC Secretary under two Presidents, and on the board. Currently I am on the Executive Committee as the Department Head of Administration. Another Committee I’ve Chaired: Nomination, Membership and Election. During this year MCC’s 50th Anniversary dinner Gala, I was involved in the planning of the dinner which was attended by over 1000 people, Alhamdulillah.
Personal & Professional: I live in Morton Grove with my wife, Shakira, and three sons Ajmal, Akram and Ihsaan. I hold an MBA in Business Management, and work as a Sales Manager for Fortune 100 Healthcare company for the past 23 years.
Vision of MCC: My vision for MCC is to see MCC grow its endowment fund so that in the next 5-10 years it can become self sufficient. I also want to assist the MCC’s youth to get more involved in the future of our institution and take on leadership roles. Thank You.
Omer Khan – No BIO Provided
Kazim Mohammed (No Photo Provided): I’ve been involved with MCC practically since I was born, starting as a student in the MCC Sunday School in the 80s, then as a Teacher Assistant, then teacher, and now as a principal. I was also involved with the MCC Youth Council in the 90s for many years. Professionally, I work as an Application Developer for US Cellular. I have 4 children that attend MCC Academy, so I have a vested interest in the advancement of our community.

Women’s Category

Shameem Aadam – No BIO Provided
Kulsum Sadiq – My name is Kulsum Sadiq. I have been served MCC Community over three decades. I have volunteered as an FTS parent support group as president, vice president and member helped school related activities. Food and fun fair Committee as a chair, co-chair and as a member. MCC part time weekend school as a principal, vice principal and served as a teacher. I served FTS Council for three years as a secretary/HR committee member. I dedicated my time to MCC part time weekend Academic School Council chair for three years. I been helping MCC Women’s Committee, Interfaith Committee and Jumma Committee as they needed. Recently, I extended my help to Mohsin Saturday School. Currently, I am a MEC Sunday School Teacher and MCC Board member past three years. It has been unique opportunity to get involved in the decision making process. My passion is to serve community with the fear of Allah S.W.T., carrying with good intention, respect, dignity and smile. If I am elected, I will do best according to community needs, especially in the field of education.

Youth Category

Mohsin Ishaq – No BIO Provided


On October 19, it was a beautiful day, both inside and outside the masjid. MCC participated in its third OPEN HOUSE CHICAGO. The Dawah committee and Interfaith & Outreach committee worked together to showcase the beauty of the Elston building, which still contains many of the original architectural features from 1923 when it was the Rivoli Theater. More importantly, for the nearly 200 visitors, warmth exuded from the Muslims, and the richness of Islam was on full display. Volunteers staffed tables featuring Islamic artifacts, henna, a mosaic craft, “Try on a Hijab” and Arabic and Urdu calligraphy. Masha’Allah, weekend school graduates and other youth-led guided tours while explaining the history and the functions of the masjid. Both Gain Peace and Islam in Spanish provided informative literature and answered many questions. Imam Ibrahim also interacted with the visitors and made an introductory presentation about Islamic beliefs. Finally, visitors enjoyed ethnic snacks donated by several Muslim-owned restaurants. It was truly a beautiful day. — Sr. Anjum Ali