April - June 2007, Other

Brief Recap: Hispanic Muslim Day

By Tariq Nelson


May 14th, 2007

Alhamdulillah, after much planning and preparation, last Saturday we had the Spanish language open house event “Hispanic Muslim Day” at Dar Al Hijrah with our guest speaker Muhammad Isa Garcia from Argentina – who is a graduate of Um Al Qura University in Makkah.

Alhamdulillah, the community was behind the event and we had several Hispanic Muslims (as well as Muslims that are not of Hispanic descent) to bring their family members and friends to the masjid to learn about Islam and break the barriers.

I feel this event was a very important step to community bridge building because Dar Al Hijrah is located in an area that has a large Hispanic population and it is essential that we – as Muslims – reach out to our neighbors – by every means available -to help dispel misconceptions. So even had not a single person accepted Islam, I feel that we had to get this message out – and still do.

This was a very busy day as Dar A Hijrah also co-sponsored a community cleanup that morning in which several of our youth participated in a cleanup with the youth of other faith in the neighborhood. (Alhamdulillah, they brought some of their friends to the event as well)

We put lots of large Spanish language posters (The Discover Islam posters in Spanish) around the masjid and our guests were given a tour of the masjid along with a brief explanation of Islam.

There were then Spanish language lectures and question and answer sessions. I could not understand what was going on, but I was told that it was a good discussion and lots of good questions were asked. The Spanish speakers mixed and mingled with the non-Muslims and made them feel welcome and answered questions as well.

I was really glad to see so many Hispanic Muslims and was particularly touched by one family originally fom Bolivia that lives in this area who Allah has really opened the doors of hidayah to, Masha Allah.

The older brother accepted Islam, then his (blood) brother, his brother-in-law and then his sister (the wife of the brother in law). They tell me that their parents are very supportive and are very close to accepting Islam (Insha Allah) as well. I can only hope to be worthy of such a blessing one day.

By the end of the program, we had four people to embrace Islam (2 Hispanic males, 1 Hispanic female and one white American male who came after hearing about the event from Muslim friends) I know that Nour posted in this post that there were two, but there were two more alhamdulillah

Alhamdulillah, it would have been a wonderful thing to have one person to embrace Islam, but alhamdulillah we had four.

Why-Islam and the brothers that work with Yusef Estes were there giving out Spanish language material and talked to people about Islam with the English speakers that came. It was a great team effort, masha Allah.

Now, we have to work on the hard part: the follow up.

I pray that Allah rewards all those who made this event possible and prayed for its success. However, Insha Allah, this is only the beginning and we hope to have other similar events coming soon as we strive to make our masjids a more open place for our neighbors and lead in breaking the chains of isolation that we – as Muslims in America – have fallen into. It is my hope – in sharing this – to inspire others to do similar events and to encourage those doing it to continue the good work.