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Iftar with the Mayor

Iftar with the Mayor

Guest Writer: Arjumand Hashmi Khan

The Muslim Community Center of Chicago, MCC proudly hosted a Chicago tradition, “Iftar with the Mayor,” with Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024. MCC’s leadership and community members welcomed Mayor Johnson for an evening of reflection, observance and commemorating the month of Ramadan. The Mayor was also honored for his historic tie-breaking vote at the City Council meeting in January passing a Cease-fire resolution for the war on Gaza. 

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, CIOGC’s leaders were present to support MCC and Mayor Johnson, Chairman Dr. Abdulgany Hamadeh and former CIOGC Chairman Irshad Khan. 

The evening was an opportunity for the Mayor to learn more about Ramadan and its significance.  

The program was emceed by MCC Academy Superintendent Mr. Habeeb Quadri, with recitation from MCC Imam Qari Arshad Patel and translation by Br. Amjad Quadri, followed by the President of MCC Br. Masood Bijapuri’s remarks. President Bijapuri acknowledged Mayor Brandon Johnson’s historic tie-breaking City Council vote, making Chicago the largest city in the nation to call for an immediate Cease-fire in the war on Gaza!

The MCC presented Mayor Brandon Johnson with a letter of appreciation and acknowledgement from the community for his historic decision.  MCC’s Vice President and CIOGC Board Member Dr. Saba Khan gave an overview of the MCC and the services it provides to the greater community at large. The program also featured Executive Director of Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR Chicago, Ahmed Rehab. 

The evening’s keynote speaker was Mayor Johnson who spoke about the spirituality of Ramadan, praised the Chicago Muslim community and spoke about having humanity. 

The MCC President also acknowledged Chairman Dr. Abdulgany M. Hamadeh and former CIOGC Chairman Irshad Khan for their commitment to the community. 

The event was covered by Chicago’s media.

Empowering Women and Celebrating Women's Month

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, it’s a poignant time to reflect on the contributions, resilience, and achievements of women around the world. And as Muslims, it’s equally crucial to explore how the teachings of Islam promote  the rights and empowerment of women, not just in theory, but in practice. 

In Islam, the status of women is elevated to a position of honor and respect. Contrary to misconceptions and stereotypes, the religion emphasizes the importance of equality, justice, and dignity for all individuals, regardless of gender. The Quran explicitly states, “And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women” (Quran 2:228), the reciprocal nature of rights and responsibilities within the framework of Islam. 

 Throughout history, Muslim women have played powerful roles as leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, and activists, leaving an indelible mark on society. From Khadijah (RA), the wife of the Prophet Muhammad and a successful businesswoman, to Fatima (RA), the founder of the world’s oldest existing, continually operating university in Fez, Morocco, the contributions of Muslim women have greatly benefited society and highlight the excellence and achievement of Muslimahs. 

Muslim women today continue to make significant contributions in various spheres, from academia and science to politics and the arts. Their voices are instrumental in shaping narratives, challenging stereotypes, and advocating for social change within their communities and beyond. 

As this month concludes, it is essential to continue acknowledging, educating, and celebrating the multifaceted roles and achievements of women within our communities. We must continue to amplify their voices, uplift their stories, and advocate for their rights, not just during this month, but every day of the year. 

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