In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
30th CONVENTION OF ICNA
[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]
ICNA-MAS are holding their 30th annual Convention at Hartford, Connecticut on July 1-3, 2005. The appropriate theme of the Convention is: “Family: The Foundation of Our Society”. This time the organizers have correctly rallied upon the American national speakers who are efficient, eloquent and competent enough to deliver the message to the participants about the importance of out family system as the backbone, the first building block, of our society. If it is corrected and balanced on sound values, the entire community will reap the harvest and produce that healthy, talented and disciplined generation of boys and girls that are its dire need, especially when liberal, free-for-all culture and “loose” behavior are maximizing their evil effects at an accelerated pace in every walk of our life..
ICNA was originally constituted as “Halaqua-e-Ahbab-e-Islami” about 35 years ago. Later on, it was transformed into “Islamic Circle of North America” as an Islamic Movement, a positive step to get the Deen of Allah’s introduced and spread in this country in a continuous process till the people of the land feel about it as the echo of their hearts and minds. They come forward on their own accord to accept Islam as a system of life to give redress to their age old socio-cultural-family problems. It may convince them to accept Islam ultimately as a political entity and life pattern. ICNA has to go a long way to attain that momentum through its Dawah efforts and different meet-the-people campaigns at grass toot level. That needs proper planning, a comprehensive Dawah program, and an effective team of Da’ees who possesses a trustworthy character and knows this country, its people and their problems better than a Congressman or a Senator. Also it is equally important that ICNA, as an Islamic Movement, should issue often and on policy statements on different issues confronting this country to enlighten the people of the land and their policy makers what benedictions and “Khair” [good] Islam holds for them and for humanity at large, if they think, live and behave Islamically.
ICNA could accomplish this onerous task at ease had it nurtured a clear vision to that effect from its very inception and not just taking care of the Dawah-oriented Immigrant brothers and sisters coming from India, Pakistan or BD. As a result, unfortunately, it emerged and is “labeled” as Urdu speaking people’s “cultural” organization. The movement-oriented brothers coming to the USA/Canada from these countries are directly absorbed into the organization and are soon promoted as Members of its Supreme General Body without giving any care that how far he or she is suitable or “qualified” for Dawah work in this country. In consequence, ICNA could not produce the requisite team of Da’ees in American perspective, in spite of its best desire to emerge as the Islamic Movement of America [IMOA]. However, its leadership is gradually becoming conscious of this omission and it is expected that its new leadership will work concertedly and diligently to fill up this gap in its ranks and files.
In spite of this shortcoming, ICNA stands as the only ideological movement of America with the sole objective to attain the pleasure of Allah through its organized constitutional and peaceful struggle for the Iqamah of Allah’s Deen. Working for the last 35 years in this situation, it has mustered some valuable strength that may not be visible to naked eyes. But when you go in depth, study its programs and functions, meet its Members of General Assembly and envision its multifarious activities in different fields, you will realize that it has accumulated a lot of strength in various departments. To be reckoned with they can be enumerated briefly as under:
1. It has a declared vision, the Goal and objective to struggle for Allah’s Deen for His pleasure. No other Institution, religious or political, stands in this country to fulfill this fundamental need and end of Muslim Ummah That gives a unique position to ICNA.
2. It is carrying out an organized, a determined and a continuous effort in that direction throughout the USA and Canada through its various local Chapters, Centers, offices and Masajid that it controls or manages. This generates the hope that one day it would succeed in fulfillment of its Goal.
3. It has accumulated a force of workers who are devoted and dedicated to work strenuously for the ideology and Goal that ICNA is committed to promote. This is the real strength of ICNA as a movement. These committed brothers and sisters just need the sense of direction as what to do and how to do and Insha Allah, I hope it would now be forthcoming faster than our expectation. Their commitment and character can be further trimmed through an effective Tarbiyah program and it is in the process.
4. Alhamdulillah, it has a well organized “Sister’s wing” which is more active, dynamic, program-oriented and fast developing than the “brother’s wing”. It has its own Research Institute at ICNA HQ catering the educational need of our sisters, young and old both.
5. It has “Young Muslims” wing for youth that is organized at Neighbor-net and campuses levels and attracting a lot of youngsters to its fold.
6. It is carrying out a lot of Dawah projects like: “Why-Islam”, Bill-Board display, Dawah in jail, Dawah in campuses, know-your-neighbors, Open Masjid Programs and meet-the-people campaign through public rallies and door-to door contacts. It observes Prophet’s days and distributes Qur’an in thousands free both at Dawah tables and by mail.
7. Through ICNA Relief, it is rendering tremendous services to poor, needy, orphans and oppressed people of this society and abroad through the support of Muslim masses of this country. It renders family services to battered women and provides shelter. It is in the process of building halfway houses that needs a lot of funds.
9. It is publishing a prestigious magazine, “MESSAGE” with thought provoking articles and features every month. Equally, it has ICNA Book Service to cater the educational and Dawah needs of Muslim Ummah.
10. ICNA has a Baitulmal where every penny is expended on right cause towards Iqamatuddeen and is properly audited by External auditors on regular basis.
Thus, ICNA is carrying out its various activities just for the pleasure of Allah and getting His Deen established. It would have not been possible without the active moral and financial support of the Muslim community of America. I hope and pray to Allah that this magnanimous support will be forthcoming in abundance to enable ICNA to continue its multifarious Dawah activities along with its various humanitarian services on a continuous process. May Allah bless it and give Barakah in its undertakings immensely. May Allah bless its leadership at each level to be worthy of the trust that people have placed in ICNA as the Islamic Movement of America. Amen!
Shamim A Siddiqi
Dated: June 23, 2005