Record-setting participation in ICSC Ramadan activities

Ramadan at the Islamic Center of Southern California was indeed a unique experience. We were able to serve Iftar every night to an average of 400 people.  We hosted hundreds for taraweeh prayers and spiritual nights. And we engaged young community members who recited impressive Quranic excerpts in for the community

The ICSC iftars were made possible thanks to the generous contribution of our gracious donors whose response was overwhelming.  Exotic meals were provided by various restaurants and served by a group of volunteers, who went beyond the call of duty to host the community and make the breaking of fast a truly spiritual experience.  Everyone was trying to gain the pleasure of Allah (swt) by maximizing their good deeds, providing Iftar, serving Iftar, or simply cleaning up afterward. 

Once the physical needs of hunger and thirst were quenched and satisfied, the program of the evening took over, under the leadership and dedicated efforts of Saleh Kholaki.  The program began with one part of Quranic recitation every night, followed by commentary and reflections by our group of distinguished speakers.  Kholaki also dedicated a segment of the program for allowing youth to recite the Quran, as joyful chants of “Allahu Akbar” applauded them.  Then came isha and taraweeh prayers led by our young and enthusiastic Quran reciter, who impressed both adults and youth with his beautiful skills.

Spiritual nights and Qiyyam al-Layl took place every Friday and Saturday night until fajr, also led by Kholaki.  The number of attendees swelled from last 2008’s average of under 100, to hundreds nightly this year, as the community, anxious to please their creator, stood the night in prayer and prostration.

Laylat al-Qadr was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sept. 16.  The program was directed and led by Dr. Maher Hathout, whose spiritual talk, prayer, and sincere du’a resonated and touched participants, making them feel the spirituality and grandeur of the blessed night.

The month ended with the Eid al-Fitr prayer on Sunday, Sept. 20, at the Convention Center.  Dr. Hathout led the community in the first prayer and concluded with an inspiring khutba that addressed the community at large and included a segment for the youth, in particular.  He advised the youth to hold tight to their religion, be a positive force in society, and set good examples for others to follow.  At the end of the prayer, the hall was filled with joy and celebration.

The Islamic Center of Southern California is indeed fortunate to serve such a blessed community. Without the generous contribution of our donors and the dedicated participation of our community, we would not have been able to experience Ramadan as spiritually and as joyfully as we did.

Mohammad Qureshi is the Islamic Center’s administrator and Shirin Karoon is assistant administrator.

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