CIOGC participated in an event staged by the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) on September 20. The focus was on when the new year begins and how it is celebrated by each faith community. CIOGC Chairman Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin and MCC Academy student Ali Siddiqui presented at the event. Ali recited verses from Surah Yaseen that describe the blessings from Allah (swt) of the changing of seasons and blossoming of flowers and fruits.
Dr. Kaiseruddin described the bases of the Islamic lunar calendar and its origin and significance, going into the differences between the purely lunar calendar Islam follows and luni-solar calendars that Jews and Hindus follow. He told the audience that Muslims do not celebrate the Islamic new year and presented the following prayer:
All praises belong to God, the Creator, Sustainer and Nourisher of the universe. We thank You for creating us as human beings and the best of your creations; we thank you for creating this beautiful planet earth as our home as we have begun to realize that we could not have survived anywhere else in this huge expansive universe of Yours; we thank You for bringing rain, enriching the earth and bringing out beautiful and colorful flowers and fruits for our pleasure and food; and we thank You for creating time, changing of the day and night and changing of the seasons that are all essential for our survival. Grant us the wisdom to enjoy Your provisions and not abuse them and guide our nations and tribes to know each other in a peaceful life devoted to You.