Islamic Center of Naperville spreads message of hope, peace during Open Mosque Day
Hundreds of visitors showed up on the Open Mosque Day at the Islamic Center of Naperville on Sunday, April 28.
ICN member Arshed Aroos said, "We are hoping today that all the misconceptions about our Islam and Muslim faith and its teachings will be eliminated and all of brother and sister of all faiths can be more understanding of each other and feel like a family. when all my neighbors, they leave the mosque today, they will have a strong message of peace and love."
Several mosque tours were led by youth at the Islamic Center who fielded questions about the Islam, the mosque and the Muslim faith. During the presentation tours, the floor was opened to the guest audience for a panel where questions concerning Islam, its practices and Zohar (mid-day) prayer were observed.
The Islamic Center organized a solidarity event at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church before the Open Mosque Day to show love and solidarity with the Christian community in the wake of terrorist attacks at churches in Sri Lanka."
"Open Mosque Day helps to break down barriers between people from different faiths and cultures," said Ashfaq Hussain Syed.
According to Shaikh Rizwan Ali, an imam and religious scholar at Islamic Center of Naperville, the mosque and interfaith team held the open house to provide answers to anyone with concerns or questions and to remove negatives images about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
The ceremony started with a recreation of holy Quran with followed by a welcome address by Shoaib Khadri, president of the Islamic Center of Naperville.
Khadri said, "Every year, we are doing two open mosque, one in spring and another is in the fall. The goal of the Open Mosque Day is to introduce ourselves and our community, our religion, our culture to other community from different faiths and backgrounds."
The day's event included a complimentary lunch followed by a question-and-answer session and two multimedia exhibits, "Journey Through Time" and "The Great Women in Islam." Visitors could stop by a booth to get their names written in Arabic calligraphy. Women were getting free henna designs on their hands and had the opportunity to try on an hijab.
State Sen. Laura Ellman, state Rep. Karina Villa, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin, Judge James McCluskey of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court, Janice Anderson, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, DuPage County Board member Sadia Covert, and other officials also attended the event.
Several types of food were served at the event. Most of the food was Middle Eastern, Arabic, Indian, Pakistani and American. The program was very well organized, prestigious and enjoyed by the attendees and will be remembered. More than 100 volunteers from all the ages were behind the successes.