Hisham Kabbani, president of As-Sunna
Foundation of America,
rouses the feelings of love and charity in the
crowd gathered at the Buena Park Hotel Ballroom
for the Momin Lodge fundraiser.
Hisham Kabbani speech (real audio)
On June 29, a Sunday night, Muslims from all over the
Southern California area came together to support and
promote the development of Momin Lodge, Islamic
Education and Research Center. Founded by Dr.
as-Sayyid Hasan ud-Din Hashmi, this center has been under
renovation for the past year. The huge building, once an
industrial complex, has enough space to hold a large
mosque, and a full madrasa and even an Islamic
research and teaching institute. Momin Lodge is
in need of community funding to complete its initial
phases, and at this point just to keep afloat.
Muzzamil Siddiqui, ISNA president, speaks about
the need for education of our youth.
Among those present were many members of the Muslim
community of Southern California, from all different
communities, schools and ways of thinking. The speakers
themselves were from all over the Southland and even from
the San Francisco Bay Area (Shaykh Kabbani).
Sakr, of Diamond Barr
Islamic Center, speaks of
his travels, relating his experiences with the
global Muslim community to the need for Islamic
The speakers at this event were as varied as were the
topics they spoke about. Dr. Muzzamil Siddiqui, president
of the Islamic umbrella organization ISNA, spoke
on the need for education of our youngsters and the fear
all parents have of losing their children to the Western
way of living.
Shaykh Kabbani, Farouk and Yusuf Tar, local
supporters of Ahl as-Sunna
wal-Jama`at, discuss the
importance of establishing mosques and centers
which are open to Muslims of all beliefs and
Dr. Abdur Rahman Khairy, CEO of LaRiba Bank,
spoke briefly. To paraphrase he noted that it is
beautiful to see all Muslims coming together this way:
"we have the mystical side of Islam, [pointing to
Shaykh Hisham], we have Dr. Muzzamil and we have Dr.
Sakr" He noted also that this showed the true unity
of Islam and he was happy to work on a fundraiser for a
mosque which supports that concept.
After leading salat al-Maghrib, Shaykh Hisham
was introduced as the keynote speaker. In his talk he
remarked that the unity we see here at this fundraiser is
a good sign for Muslims. Despite our differences we can
unite on the basis of kalimat at-tawheed and
this must be done. After speaking, he then encouraged the
crowd in the Buena Park Hotel ballroom, to support
Islamic education and Islamic community by paying and not
giving simple lip-service. Dr. Sakr joined in the
fundraising activity and alhamdulillah by the
end of the evening a considerable sum of money had been
collected to help the mosque out of its fiscal crisis.
Fareed Farukhi speak with Shaykh Kabbani.
Finally the evening was concluded by the singing of na`at
praising the Prophet (s). Dr. Sakr remarked that he had
visited the community of Muslims in South Africa, where
they did the praise and salaam on the Prophet
(s). Following this, and Shaykh Hisham's encouragement,
the salaams on the Prophet (s) were given from
the standing audience, leaving tears in the eyes of many
of the avid supporters of Ahl as-Sunna wal-Jama`at in
Southern California and joy in their hearts, to see salawat
and salaams made openly in an Islamic gathering.
This was a watershed moment in the history of Islam in
North America, as Ahl as-Sunna, Salafi, imams,
scholars, educator, banker, doctors, businessman,
professionals all stood together without condemning one
another and in fact supporting each other for the sake of
Allah and His religion al-Islam.