Two Muslim groups hosted a presentation Thursday night at College of Lake County in Grayslake to raise awareness about what they say is the true good character of Prophet Muhammad.
It was one of 50 presentations of "Muhammad Messenger of Peace" planned across the country by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of the United States of America. The organization's branch serving Lake County and southeastern Wisconsin co-hosted the Grayslake program with the CLC Muslim Student Association.
Organizers said the effort is necessary because Muhammad generally has been misrepresented by the media and in the movie "Innocence of Muslims."
After visitors to CLC's auditorium settled in with gift bags that included a Quran and a book titled "Life of Muhammad," they heard opening remarks regarding the prophet from McHenry College philosophy department Professor Meyrl Schmit.
"Getting to know the prophet is very important," Schmit said. "I always find it important to know about the founder or the significant person, like the prophet, in terms of any world religion." Imam Noman Rana of Zion delivered the keynote address. He first told the crowd how Muhammad came into the world in 570.
"Can you imagine that he was born and his father had passed away before his birth," Rana said. "And after a little while after his birth, his mother also passed away. He was in the care of his grandfather until he passed away. And then his care was transferred to his uncle."
Muhammad was respectful to his elders, affectionate toward his friends and had compassion for those who needed help, Rana said. Muhammad declared life to be sacred and was known to serve anyone, regardless if they were Muslim.
Thursday's program also included a question-and-answer session, a Quran recitation with translation, and a poem in honor of Muhammad.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Lake County and Southeastern Wisconsin came to the Grayslake Area Public Library in 2011 as part of a "Muslims for Peace" campaign. Members of the oldest Muslim-American organization in the United States said their goal in the library event was to dispel the perception that violent acts are an inherent part of the Islamic faith.