|World Renowned Reciter Visits DMV|
|Community News - Community News|
|Written by Hena Zuberi, Muslim Link Staff Reporter|
|Friday, 28 February 2014 17:51|
The news spread like wildfire all over the DC Metro. Everyone's favorite reciter was in town: Shaykh Abu Bakr Shatri, who is blessed with a voice that can turn sinful hearts back to the Qur’an. The week of February 17, 2014, the McLean Islamic Center (MIC) booked him for a qiyam, as did the Islamic Society of Baltimore.
Currently the imam of Masjid Al -Furqan, 44-year-old Shatri is from Jeddah and has a graduate degree in accounting. He is married with 4 children. Millions listen to his lyrical recitation of the Qur’an. Shatri also holds ijazat (licenses) in performing ruqyah (exorcism) from Yemen and Saudi Arabia. He sees patients suffering from al-mass (Jinn possession), as-sihr (black magic), al-ayn (evil eye) to perform treatment according to the Qur'an and Sunnah.
MIC had planned to have the event at the center, however the immense interest from the community, despite the event being in the middle of the week, forced the organizers to change the venue to the Best Western Hotel in Tysons Corner. This is where the community hosts Eid Salah.
The MIC located in McLean, VA is a small masjid in the basement of an office building near the proposed McLean Metro stop, with a vibrant weekend school run by young volunteers. It runs an IT certification program, offering classes at a fraction of a cost to the community. Most of the students are people of other faiths. This is a unique service that the community is proud of, said Sultan Chowdhury of MIC as he welcomed the audience. He announced that the center has certified 700 hundred people, helping buff up resumes in this era of heavy unemployment.
Kashif Bhatti, Youth Director at MIC and Mobeen Vaid worked with volunteers to prep the hall in time. Several security guards were in the hotel lobby and the banquet hall where white sheets were laid out for the qiyam. A few hundred people gathered on February 12, 2014 to hear Sh. Shatri. Young mothers, Sarah Sultan and Fatimah Popal, rocked their babies, waiting for the shaykh to recite.
Dr. Altaf Hussain announced that he felt like it was Ramadan in the middle of Rabi Thani. He conducted a quick fundraiser for the MIC community, which yielded $30,000. Hussain said that the shaykh had never seen an American-style fundraiser.
After praying two rakahs of qiyam, post Isha, the shaykh started his lecture. Imam Safi Khan of Dar us Salaam translated the visiting shaykh’s lecture. The topic was having good hopes in Allah.
Starting with advice to those who seek knowledge and share the message of Islam, the speaker reminded them not to be ‘void of Allah.’ He also warned the audience of falling into hypocrisy.
Shaykh Shatri forbade the audience from pessimism and insincerity as these restrict khayr (goodness) from Allah. He stated that thinking ill of the Creator is not from the characteristics of the believers, rather it is a sign of a hypocrite. People are given according to their intention and there is goodness in every position that Allah puts a human being through, as He is the All-Knower and the Sublime.
He narrated the story of a man that he knew who lost all his wealth. This loss made him closer to Allah when he realized that he didn't come into this world with anything and will leave the world without anything. “Don’t you think bad of Allah,” he warned.
His great sense of humor evoked laughter from the crowd as they listened to the Shaykh, who was rocking orange Vans and jeans under his traditional thobe and ghotra.
He is 15-year-old Hafidha Amirah’s favorite reciter and she was ecstatic about listening to him live. She recalled growing up listening to him, as she tried to memorize the Quran. In his cds he cries at one particular verse, repeating it over and over again. “Here he did not cry at that ayah,” she said, surprised.
“Interesting experience because I have never prayed behind a shaykh, and also his lecture was really good; I liked how it was translated into English,” said Amirah’s cousin, appreciating the fact that she could understand the inspirational lecture. “Biryani and iphones in the grave for the win,” chorused the cousins, quoting the shaykh, as they gathered the family and headed back to Sterling, VA.
Shalan, from Gaithersburg, MD and Hajrah, her sister who lives in College Park, MD had never heard the shaykh before, but they plan on Youtubing his videos of qirah when they get home. They appreciated his ‘to the point talk and his humor.’ Hajrah shared that her friend memorized the Quran listening to Abu Bakr Shatri; she attended the event at ISB despite the heavy snow.
Ghulam Mustafa, a student at NOVA who aspires to transfer to George Mason to study Information Technology and his friend Ibrahim of Herndon, VA, heard about the event through friends at the ADAMS center. They came despite the last minute notice; finishing their classes and coming straight to the event. “An awe inspiring and beautiful night,” said Ibrahim. Never lose hope or despair as everything good is from Him was a point in the speech that boosted Ibrahim’s mood and increased his level of iman.
“This event was very interesting, as we don't know him as a lecturer,” comments Mustafa, who enjoyed learning from the shaykh. Appreciating that the scholar addressed college students, as he is currently having some issues with college, Mustafa said the talk really helped him. Mustafa said that he now understood that when we doubt ourselves, we are doubting Allah. “We go through bad phases. Just hav[ing] hope in Him makes everything is possible, as nothing is too great for Allah.” Hearing that helped Mustafa’s iman to ‘go up’. “His lecture was beneficial and hilarious,” added Mustafa.
Some women were shared that they were not able to meet the scholar or ask him questions. “I had a major question that I wanted to ask him,” said Nooran, of Fairfax. She was unable to get an audience with him and left slightly disappointed. Her mother Khadijah, a member of MIC, had helped fix the dinner for the visiting shaykh, that was served at the center prior to the event. Yet, the elderly sister prayed that more events like this take place and for the continued success of MIC.
A refreshing visit from a beloved recitor that revived those in the area who were lucky enough to attend the event.