A Message from MANA's Deputy Amir
It takes a village to plan a conference
Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Al-Islam:
As-Salaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu:
First I want to thank Allah (swt) for the success of our 2008 MANA conference. Insha'Allah going forward ,we'll be able to identify where we need to improve and perfect , but I thank Allah for all things good and whatever was right, and to Him is due all praise. He has inspired us to come together, and we ask Him to continue to bring our hearts closer, to forgive and guide us, amin.His Messenger (pbuh) taught us that whoever is not grateful to people is not grateful to Allah, so....:
Thanks and prayers for blessing to ALL associated with the conference. To ALL OF YOU WHO ATTENDED, and especially those who have offered constructive criticism, with love and compassion. Please continue to do so. If you haven't, please do.
- To the KNOWERS (our scholars and very professional presenters), who both enlightened and inspired us, both men and women, and most especially to - Imam Siraj, who continues to uplift us, Dr. Abdul-Hakim Sherman Jackson (who really threw down the gauntlet for a generation of our development- magnificently), Imam Zaid Shakir (who challenged us to step up and be), Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick (who kept our roots preserved while encouraging us to develop a prophetic world-view), our Imams (like Imam Qasim Ahmed and Faheem Shuaibe and many others) who led in that which was best, and some of whom were just present and accounted for (like Imam Abu Muslimah from NJ, Imam Musa Abdul-Alim of D.C., Imam Salahuddin Muhammad of upstate NY, Imam Mohamed Majid from the D.C. -Va. area,Imam Madyun of Chitown, Imam Isa Abdul-Kareem from Long island , Imam Khalil of Greensboro, Imam Nadim of Atlanta, etc. ) - we look forward to your future contributions, and value your observations.
Amir Muhammad Shareef, and Dr. Aminah Beverly Mccloud - we miss you both and look forward to your coming participation and contributions; and to our women presenters in workshops and main sessions , so many of you of various generations, who taught and nurtured our souls with knowledge tempered with love and compassion, May Allah preserve these and you all , who protected our inheritance of belief, which is knowledge.
- To the BELIEVERS (the Muslim brothers and sisters, participants and supporters), who came by the thousands. May Allah bless and reward you for your travel and love for the sake of Him. This can't be done without you. It's about you. I know we made some errors this past wekend. Please continue to be patient and forgiving with the leadership, and with yourselves. We're not finished. We're just beginning. MANA is a work in progress.
-To the DOERS (the workers, the workers, the workers), for it is you who got the job done. Without you, our magnificent volunteer force and others, there would be no conference. May your actions count for you on the Day of Judgement. You pave the way with your deeds towards a better future for our progeny, and ourselves as a people, and the world. It's about work!
And speaking of doers who got the job done, SPECIAL SHOUT OUTS OF THANKS , AND DUA'S FOR: Dr. Ihsan Bagby and Sister Waheedah, and Imam Qasim and Sister Husaina, all of the members of the MANA Program Committee under the leadership of brother Muhammad Khalifa, and to the imams and believers of the Majlis Ash-Shura of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley under the leadership of Imam Asim Abdur-Rashid, BAARAKALLAH ! It is you who made the event happen and guaranteed it's success with Allah's help, with your relentless support, spirited and loving work, combination of intelligence and passion, vision, critique, and tireless dedication, and that's not rhetoric. The proof was in the pudding!!!
As well, how could I thank so many and overlook Sister Akanke? From her excellent graphics on the website, and our MANA posters, our advertisements in several periodicals,to our program, her constant monitoring and being on top of her job -not to mention that she was even the stage manager for the banquet (!), her own contribution to our success was considerable. She's one of those DOERS whose quality work indicates her presence, from month to month.She's behind the scenes, but her work is out front, and it gives us a wonderful and authentic image as an organization.
AND FURTHER THANKS:
...To the representatives of The Mosque Cares (Sister Laila Mohammed), and ISNA (Sister Ingrid Mattson), and Sister Aisha Al-Adawiyyah of Women in Islam, Sister Nura Jeter , brother Adam Carroll and so many other organizational heads, Sister Dowoti desir of the Malcolm X/Dr. Betty Shabazz Center in NY, the male leaders and representatives from MAS and CAIR, Brother Akbar Muhammad of Youth4Africa, all of whom came out in support and outreach... Mahdi Bray - we look for you next year insha'Allah....
And to loving and supportive spouses who are tireless workers in their own right but could be seen moving quietly about, like my own wife Sanaa, and Imam Zaid's wife, brother Quaiser's wife Naeemah - the two of whom have co-chaired the main organizing committee in Philly two years in a row now, and others.
- To our banquet honorees, all of them, but especially Muhammad Ali Jr. who brought a smile and a chuckle to everyone with his imitation of his globally famous abu
...And to our artists, who are in pursuit of Paradise and a cultural identity and voice that is your own. May Allah bless, comfort and sustain you in your difficult space, as you are more important than you realize. As Chairman Mao said in the early phases of a cultural revolution that ultimately and successfully transformed China from the so-called "sick men of Asia", to a global super-power , " An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy" (whew!)
The 2nd MANA conference was about the bringing together of our hearts and minds, in faith and work. I for one was absolutely exhausted at its conclusion , and it has taken me a few days to recuperate. But I am also absolutely affirmed, inspired, uplifted and strengthened by what we accomplished together. I am challenged by the work unveiled ,yet hopeful. It is especially you young men and women who make it possible for me to experience such emotions. May Allah bless and reward you. You are our future. Handle your business, and do so with humility!
To the committees and task forces and their leaders: You understand what we need to do. Let's get it done and that will advanced our cause of establishing Al-Islam in the land, and ministering to the needs of Muslims of all ages. Handle your business and the world will benefit, insha'Allah. the tasks and challenges you presented in our final session are the future of our people. May you and we be up to the task. To borrow a phrase from the President-Elect - This is our moment! Let's move forward and capture it with our hearts, minds, and hands.
You have laid it out:
Financial literacy, fundraising, and entreprenuership
Diplomatic outreach, healing and reconciliation
Iinformation & Technology & Communications
We are learning to think like a people - like a nation within a nation, like an ummah with the ummah. We must now move forward to the work. Let us put forth the best intentions and give each other the benefit of the doubt, always. Let us pray for each other's success and our collective success. We must gauge our progress by work done. As Shaykh-'Allama Tawfiq (May Allah have mercy on him, forgive him and reward him with jannat) always reminded us from the laws of physics, "Work is movement. To accomplish work is to achieve movement. No movement, no work". We must move the American agenda by work that is measurable and authentic, not through rhetoric . Insha'Allah I'm going to be asking your help in establishing a quarterly reporting system, from now in 2008 through 2009.
We have a charge that has been given to us by Allah and His Messenger (pbuh), and passed unto us by our ancestors. We ask Allah to open our hearts and make us the ones, that our destiny might unfold in glory, amin.
Was Salaam,Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid
Deputy Amir, MANA