On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, the Prince George's Muslim Association (PGMA) in Lanham, Maryland had the pleasure of hosting Elizabeth Seton Catholic High School.
Approximately 75 female students and three chaperons, wearing head scarves entered PGMA eager to hear about Islam. They were greeted by the Imam and a few sisters from the Muslim community.
As they approached the main musalla, they removed their shoes and filed in to hear PGMA Imam Ahmad Azzaari give his presentation. They listened attentively and often nodded their heads in agreement to the similarities of Islam and Judaism, and Islam and Christianity. The comparison and contrast gave them a better understanding and made the information easy to grasp. Using his personality and humor, Imam Azzaari did an excellent job bridging the gap and opening the door for further discussion.
The students were quiet and very observant as they watched the Salat al-Zuhr. They asked questions that demonstrated they were cognizant of the actions and behavior of the Muslims during prayer. For instance, they wondered why some men wore hats and others did not. What was the song the Imam was singing? Why do we take off our shoes? Why do some men have beards and others do not? What are the different positions? Why are there more men than women? How long does it take to memorize the Qu'ran? Interestingly enough, they did not ask why women pray behind the men.
After Salat al-Zuhr some of the brothers stayed in the musalla and listened to Imam Azzaari finish his presentation. They also participated in the Q&A session. Their actions displayed a sense of unity and love for Islam. When the youngest student of the Hifzh program recited they were in total awe. As they departed, some of the students approached the Imam and asked additional questions.
Alhumdulillah we were afforded the opportunity to host and give dawah to Elizabeth Seton Catholic High School Seniors. As a former Catholic and recipient of a catholic education, it brought tears to the eyes of this author. I saw them engaged and respectful of Muslims and the way we worship our Rabb. I was chosen by Allah subhana wa ta’ala to be his servant and I pray that he has touched their hearts, as well.
April Short is the Sisters Committee Secretary for the Prince George's Muslim Association (PGMA).