Thursday, August 25, 2011

Night 23- The Heart of Downtown

Tiled artwork with the Names of Allah (DIC)
Already highly annoyed and discombobulated with Chicago traffic at 9:00 PM, well after rush hour, and then recklessly driving around the grided streets of Chicago's Loop district in search of rare, free street parking, I finally arrived at DIC, the Downtown Islamic Center. This five story building is Chicago's version of New York City's "Park 51" mosque, but without all the the negative media, and circumstance. It is also home to the head quarters of  The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC).

My former university campus is directly adjacent to DIC which made it super easy to attend Friday Prayer after class. I took the elevator with seven other people to the top floor. Thank God for the eight person rule; before people would pack the elevator like sardines in a can which caused major safety hazards resulting in rather uncomfortable jolts through the ascension up... or down. The attendees for prayers tonight were mostly business professionals working late into the evening hours, and a younger generation living in the South Loop, River North, and Streeterville areas.
Tarawih at DIC- Chicago
Rami Nashashibi
With just my luck, after Isha salah the Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Rami Nashashibi, spoke that night. It is always a pleasure listening to Rami since he delivers his message from the heart and with much conviction. He gave a short address and then requested for the attendees to donate to help run IMAN's services to the community.

Shortly after, Tarawih began and was led by an old time acquaintance, Dr. Hafiz Kamran Riaz. If I remember correctly, Kamran completed his hifz in an incredibly short time of under one year. His style of qirat was almost exactly like Shaykh Sudais of the holy mosque in Makkah, while maintaining his own flare. He even said salaam at the end of each rakat how Sudais does- the first one with a normal tone, and the second one sounding like it's going down a tunnel. I don't know how else to explain it (Click here and you will know exactly what I'm talking about!), but just trust me on that one.

It's great to know that between concrete and glass high-rise buildings is a mosque, a place to get away from the the daily grind of life and to take a few minutes to realize our true purpose.
Downtown Islamic Center, Chicago

1 comment:

  1. Nice stories you posted here^^
    but, where the stories from rest of the days ?!