by Aliya Husain
Islamic Foundation School celebrated its 30th anniversary at its Legacy Gala with a sold out event that hosted 500 guests on Saturday, April 30th, 2016 at Shalimar Banquets. MC Saqib Shafi kicked off the event with a promo video that was a collage of old and new video footage, documenting the growth of this institution. Senior Hafiz Hamza Hussain recited Quran in glorious Tajweed and UmmeSalma Abdel Baseer translated the ayahs. CIOGC Chair, Mohammed Kaiseruddin, presented a 30th Anniversary clock to the IFS leadership and recognized the milestone. Aftab Khan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Islamic Foundation, thanked the parent community for all of their support. In particular he recognized Dr Naveed Saeed and Dr Umar Haque for spearheading a fundraising campaign to fund a state of the art weight room for IFS. He also recognized the Dinner Chairs, Reema Kamran and Aliya Husain, for their efforts in organizing and executing the celebration.
Former IFS student, Ustadh AbdelRahman Murphy captured the audience’s attention as he recounted all that IFS had offered to him during his time at the school. He specifically cited the sincere and caring nature of his teachers and how they positively impacted his life. He discussed the importance of Islamic schooling and how he only realized “how good he had it “ after he had commenced what is commonly known amongst Islamic school students as the “promised land” i.e. public school. Once he was in public school he desperately wanted to return to IFS. Students and parents reacted strongly in agreement with Ustadh Murphy’s message, concurring with his thoughts that the IFS teachers show much love and concern for their students. Mrs. Ghada Fahmy, assistant principal and long time IFS teacher/administrator was cited as a second mother to the children of IFS and many others were recognized by the parent population as tremendous assets to the institution.
Dinner was served promptly, prior to Maghrib, after which the event reconvened to a festive fundraising atmosphere where Hafiz Azam Hashmi and Board Member Dr Ali Ahmed raised the funds needed to surpass the goal that was set for the evening. Student Council President Abdallah Damra led a series of students who shared with parents how and why the new projects for which funds were being raised were needed at IFS and how they can help the school become the premier Islamic School in the Chicagoland area. Generous parents helped reach the target, and the IFS PTO donated $20,000 towards the new Physics lab amongst other projects that were to be completed in the lower level.
Following the fundraising, Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda congratulated IFS on this monumental occasion and on the fact that IFS is considered a role model institution. He referenced the life of the Prophet PBUH and how his community was a model community for Muslims for centuries to come. Our goal is now to revive the dignity and the honor of that Ummah. The worldview that we have has to be seen through the lens of the Sunnah and how the objective of our lives is to look back to what has been validated by Allah Himself. Therefore, our vision is to look forward by taking the glory of the past and realizing and replicating it in the future.
Parent and student volunteers were graceful hosts and welcomed the community with open arms. Nida Alam, Subeena Zubairi, Rabia Siddiqui, Baseer Siddiqui, Dr Baseer Qazi, and Dr Ali Ahmed conducted registration along with student volunteers. Guests were ushered in by Shereen Hussain, who also led the Gala Sponsorship Team, Nasser Al Huraibat, Siraj Haque, and Aamina Ali-Ahmed. The amazing youth IFS student volunteer team consisted of: Sufiya Khashiya, Nashita Syeda, Radiya Ali, Safia Ateeq, Marifa Saber, Salma Khalid,Nadia Barde, Heba Siddiqui,Ummesalmah Abdel Baseer, Raneem Damra, Noor al Yousef, Aisha Vimawala, Saira Rasheed , Safiya Qureshi, Amina Farooqi, Zayd Ahmed Fardeen Sayed, Abdallah Damra ,Nabeel Ghani, and Suhayl Khan.
IFS is also celebrating its ranking as the second most challenging high school in Illinois per the Washington Post, as well as admission of its students to the following universities/ programs over the past two years: Boston University, Cornell University, Duke University, UIC- GPPA program, UIUC, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. And this year, IFS is also home to a National Merit Scholar! With such a track record, we can only imagine what the next thirty years will bring, bi’idnillah!