On October 29, 2016, the courtyard of Dar al Hijrah in Falls Church, Va. transformed into a conference room with decoration and a stage; the theme was fall for the DAH Youth Conference 2016. With lights hanging above, a mic and stand proped the speaker’s words and inspired the youth’s minds. The schedule was jam packed with five hours of speakers, food, and spoken word. The room’s energy was filled with a hall of fresh minds and new, inspiring concepts.
The emcee for the evening was Mohammed Kibriya, DAH’s youth director. The night started with a beautiful recitation of the Quran by Ali Tamimi. Then the stage was handed over to the first speaker, DAh’s new sister’s coordinator, Ustadha Ieasha Prime— her voice sounded like thunder and her words were like lightning striking the room with her eloquent speech— folding everyone’s attention. Her topic was putting spirituality in context. “Is your deen temperamental? Is it moody? Is it sometimey? Like there are some weeks I can pray all night, next month I can’t,” she said. Her words resonated with all of the youth in the room because in today’s society where everything fluctuates from trending topics to fashion to spirituality. She gave tips on how to change that; on how to keep your Iman high all year long. “When our practice is low, our spirituality should always be high,” she preached.
Up next was Imam Abubaker Elgargour from Brentwood Islamic Center in California. He focused on love— the idea love in spirituality. “Love is proven by our actions; we can’t say we love Allah without action,” he said. He wove in psychological concepts, leaving the room in reflection; reminding the audience that striving for excellence is a simple way of showing our gratitude and our love for Allah.
The next speaker was Yasmin Elhady from the D.C. area, “What is it you’re called to do?” she asked, in hopes of inspiring the room filled with artists, writers, future doctors, and future rocket scientists. She emphasized on aiming for no lower then your passion and aiming for perfection. She reminded the youth that that “the Prophet did not complain about the things that happened to him; he was building.” As reflected in quote by Rudy Fransisco, “it doesn’t matter if the cup is half full or half empty. There is still water in the cup, so drink it and stop complaining”. Many youth spend their time complaining; they create the hashtag and have someone else to create the movement.
Up next was Naeem Baig, a spoken word artist, who spoke a lot about the company one holds and the friends one surround oneself with. “You put yourself in situations where temptation itches at your brain,” he said and continued to electrify the room with rhymes, slick lines, and rhythm.
Lastly, Ali Altimimy from Detroit whose spoke about difficulty and the importance of looking at the bright side.”Difficulty is what guides you to do the next best thing,” he shared. He continued to emphasize that “difficulty can not only be bearable but be enjoyable when you experience it with Allah.” Reminding the audience that hard times and good times are by the will of Allah, therefore why not look to Him for answers and support.
The conference room was vibrant filled with 270 people of all ages. The youth committee was happy with the amazing turnout.
The room was filled with intuitive minds and strong speakers everyone left with something new to reflect on; from Iesha Prime to Ali Altimimy, the 2016 youth conference was an amazing success.