ICNA President Naeem Baig addresses the gathering of DMV masajid leaders. ICNA invited the leaders to dinner at Laal Qilaa restaurant in Baltimore to update them on the annual ICNA convention to be held this year in Baltimore. Photo courtesy of ICNA.
Convention Center on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26, 2014
One of the major national Islamic events, the ICNA-MAS Annual Convention, is coming back to Baltimore on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26, 2014. It will be the 39th ICNA convention and 13th ICNA-MAS joint convention. Interestingly, the first ICNA-MAS joint convention was held at the Baltimore convention center in 2002. ICNA also organized its two previous annual conventions at this same convention center in 1999 and 2000.
On Sunday, February 2nd, the ICNA metro DC area chapters organized a leadership dinner at Lal Qila restaurant in Baltimore, for the DC metro area Muslim leadership to appraise them about the forthcoming annual convention. More than 50 leaders from 20 local Islamic Centers, Masajid, and various Muslim organizations, including four ICNA chapters, participated in the dinner program. ICNA’s national president Naeem Baig, regional convention chair Maqbool Patel, and Imam Safi Khan spoke at the dinner. Dr. Mohsin Ansari, chairman of ICNA Relief, moderated the program.
Welcoming the Muslim leadership, Dr. Mohsin Ansari told them that after a gap of 11 years, ICNA convention is coming back to Washington DC metro area. In between those years, we held our conventions in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and then for nine consecutive years in Hartford, CT. Alhamdulillah, we were able to outgrow the Hartford Convention Center. Meanwhile, ICNA has enhanced its local work in the fields of Dawah, tarbiyah, domestic relief, social services, and international relief and development. Muslim Family Day also became a popular annual event for the DC area Muslims. Alhamdulillah, we had enjoyed a wonderful cooperation from the local Muslim community leadership during our three previous conventions, and we are very much hoping for the same level of cooperation this year, insha Allah.
Br. Maqbool Patel assured ICNA leadership the full cooperation of the metro area Muslim community and reminded the audience that the 2002 convention was also a big event, where more than ten thousand Muslims were in attendance. He hoped that inshaAllah this year convention will be at least double that amount in participation and attendance.
Addressing the gathering, ICNA national president, Br. Naeem Baig, stated that the ICNA convention is a family convention and you will find attractions for all members of the family. There are children programs for fun and learning, a vibrant youth conference, several parallel sessions on the topics of family, dawah, education, civil rights, social services, and thought provoking main sessions -- all part of the convention program. A bazaar of more than 300 booths will also be a great attraction for every participant. The convention will inshaAllah provide an opportunity to spend a family weekend in an Islamic environment. There will be interfaith programs and a special 'Window to Islam' event organized by the ICNA WhyIslam project that will especially address the brothers and sisters of other faiths. The convention will be a showcase of all ICNA activities. Br. Naeem Baig appealed the local Muslim leaders that we are seeking their cooperation on the Quranic principle of cooperating with each other in good work.
Mr. Baig mentioned that the theme of this year’s convention will be "Islam: Faith, Submission, Service." We would like to present our faith with full commitment to Allah swt and complete dedication to serve our neighbors. He also told the audience that the ICNA convention committee will work with Masjid leadership to facilitate more participation from within their communities.
Imam Safi Khan, a renowned scholar, also welcomes the ICNA leadership on holding their 39th annual convention in metro DC area and explained that the convention theme is wonderful in presenting the true meanings and actions of Islam in the present situation of our country.
ICNA Secretary General, Tariq Rahman, CEO of the Helping Hands for Relief and Development, Farrukh Raza, and Convention Co-Chairman, Dr. Arif Mannan were also present in the program. The leadership dinner came to an end with a beautiful dua'a by Mufti Hamid of Fatima Masjid located in Catonsville, MD. [Source: ICNA]