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From the Executive Council


As Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,


We are nearing the end of another Gregorian calendar year, but with a heavy heart due to the events around the world, with attention given to the conflict in the Middle East. Let's continue to do all we can in our efforts to end the suffering of those facing injustice and oppression, with the least of it to continue making Du'a.  


This is the final newsletter of the year. We hope that it is informative and a useful way to learn about all the activities taking place at ISGVF. It takes a considerable amount of time to produce this newsletter, but it creates a sense of satisfaction when published, Alhamdulillah. We plan to continue this effort into next year but may consider an alternative to a monthly publication.


We hope that you enjoy reading this final newsletter, especially about the end of year General Body meeting and the election results. May Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala give relief to those suffering and protect the innocent here at home and around the world. Ameen.

From the Imam

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,


All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. As we are immersed in the winter season, it’s important that as believers, we take advantage of the opportunities of worship presented to us by the shorter days and longer nights. From those acts of worship are voluntary fast and the night prayer (Qiyamul Layl). Doing these recommended acts may be difficult during other times of the year, given the longer days and the weather. With Fajr prayer coming in relatively later and Maghrib prayer being so early, let’s try to engage in voluntary fasts and night prayer to the best of our abilities! From the sunnah of our Prophet ﷺ is to fast on Mondays and Thursdays and/or fasting 3 days of the Islamic month. Striving to do this sunnah will be rewarding, as well as serving as a preparation for the blessed month of Ramadan. May Allah ﷻ accept from all of us! We ask Allah ﷻ that He preserves Islam and that He grants ease to all the Muslims that are suffering and oppressed in all parts of the world. We ask Allah that He grants us goodness in this world and in the next. Ameen!


Wassalamu Alaikum,

Imam Aqib Choudhury


Imam Office Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, Asr - Isha

Schedule Meeting with Imam: https://calendly.com/isgvfimam

Contact Imam: imam@isgvf.com

Newsletter December 2023

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ISGVF General Body meeting and Election Update:

The annual General Body Meeting was held on Saturday, December 2, 2023, followed by elections for the new Executive Council (EC) and Board of Trustees (Board) positions. The EC and Board presented their annual updates including Treasurer's report and the Weekend School Report.

  

Based on receiving more than 50% of all casted votes, the following members were elected as follows: 

 

Executive Council Members -  

Br Atif Shaikh (3-year term 2024-2026) 

Br Kashif Masood (3-year term 2024-2026) 

 

Board of Trustees Member: 

Br Mohammad Aziz (2-year term 2024-2025)

Br Syed Mujeeb Rehman (5-year term 2024-2028) 

  

The seven-member team of Executive Council elected the following officers for the year 2024: 

President: Br Murat Odemis

Secretary: Sr Seema Nahid 

Treasurer: Br Sandeep Goma 

  

We hope you will join us in sending a big THANK YOU to the outgoing Board Chairperson Br Ejaz Khan and the EC President Br Usman Fazili for their commitments and dedication during their leadership roles. They know outgoing does not mean a farewell but only the passing of their official roles. We know that they will (and do) continue to serve ISGVF and believe in its continued growth and success in the community


ISGVF appreciates and thanks all the members of the Executive Council and Board of Trustees. We pray to Allah (SWT) to reward them immensely for their efforts and sacrifice to please Allah (SWT), Ameen!  

  

Congratulations to the newly elected members for assuming their respective responsibilities. We request that everyone extend their full cooperation and support and make Du’a that Allah (SWT) give them taufique and guide them in serving the community to the best of their abilities. Ameen!


Special Family Halaqa on Philanthropy at UNRWA

Special guest Dr. Hani Almadhoun, Director of Philanthropy at UN Relief and Works Agency, explained the work that his organization does to support Palestinian refugees. Dr Hani, being from Gaza himself, recounted the difficulty of the situation there, having just a few days before this event, learned that his brother, sister-in-law, and four of their children were killed. 


May Allah grant the reward of a Shaheed to those he lost and give sabr to those left behind to bear this loss. Ameen.


Dr Hani was presented with a $35,000 check, made up of generous donations by our community. May Allah reward all donors and their families.

Special Family Halaqa on Retirement

Br Ajmal Khan and Br Khurshid Iqbal gave an eye-opening presentation on retirement planning and the importance of understanding the realities of living in retirement. The audience was enlightened on the do's and don'ts to a successful retirement; from healthcare enrollment to investing and Social Security, everyone left the presentation with important information on what it takes to "survive" retirement and to assure financial stability to live independently. ISGVF thanks Br Ajmal and Br Khurshid for sharing their wealth of knowledge, their experiences and their lessons learned with the audience.

ISGVF Youth Committee

The ISFGVF Youth Committee continues to stay active with programs. Game nights and sports watch parties continue to bring the youth together to bond and create lasting friendships. Additionally, special events are scheduled, and two such events are described below:


On November 4th, the committee organized a Bonfire Halaqah. The event was specifically tailored for the youth boys, aiming to foster a sense of brotherhood and community. The event provided a unique opportunity for participants to engage in meaningful discussions through a halaqah around the bonfire while making delicious s’mores.


On November 26th, the ISGVF Youth Committee successfully hosted a Family Friendsgiving Potluck Dinner. Families gathered to enjoy an evening filled with a diverse range of delicious dishes brought by the attendees. The event also featured engaging activities such as the Eagles vs Bills football game and a halaqah. The atmosphere was festive, providing families with an opportunity to come together and share a meal.

Weekend School Update

Alhamdulillah we are almost at the end of the first semester of our school year. Students are now in full preparation for the midterms and then off to Winter Break. Please note the following important days for the next two months:


December 16th/17th - MidTerm Exams

December 23rd/24th - No School (Winter Break)

December 30th/31st - No School (Winter Break)

January 6th/7th - Back to School after break

January 20th/21st - Parent Teacher Conferences

January 27th/28th - Parent Teacher Conferences


Please be on the lookout for sign up links for conferences in early January. Further information will be emailed to all parents as the dates approach.


Jazak Allah Khair

Social Committee - Ladies Brunch

As Salamalaikum,


In the spirit of community engagement and sisterhood, the ISGVF Social Committee organized a Ladies Brunch. We welcomed around 65 guests, both familiar faces and new sisters in our community, creating an atmosphere of warmth and togetherness.


The event began with a beautiful Quran recitation and a brief talk on the profound benefits of regularly mentioning Allah's name in our prayers. Delicious food and fun games brought us closer, fostering a sense of belonging and solidarity.


The committee thanks attendees for their participation and enthusiasm. Let’s continue to strengthen the bonds of sisterhood and faith inSha'Allah.

Interfaith Committee Update

The ISGVF Interfaith Committee hosted 60 seniors from Norte Dame High School in Bryn Mawr accompanied by Dr, Norma DaCrema and Nora Moffat on December 4th, and also hosted 35 students from Arcadia University the next day. Guided by submitted questions from the students, discussion topics included the core of Islam, comparison with Christianity and Jesus from the Islam perspective, prayer, Haij, marriage and the role of culture and tradition in shaping our beliefs. The events broke for Dhuhr prayer, while the students observed. Students enjoyed a pizza lunch.

ISGVF is on YouTube!

We are excited to announce that ISGVF officially has a YouTube channel:  youtube.com/@isgvf OR type @isgvf on YouTube. When you get there, click the Subscribe button to stay updated on programs!


Monthly Activities at ISGVF

*Family Halaqa - with Kids' Story Time and other activities (every Friday 7:30 pm)

*YM Girls Halaqa (every Friday after Maghrib)

*Ilm Hour for Children (every Saturday at 5 pm)

*Youth Study Circle - Free registration required (every Saturday following Dhuhr Salat)

*Peace Academy Surah Al-Baqara Memorization Class (every Saturday 6-8 pm)

*Sisters' Weekly Halaqa in Arabic (every Thursday, 11 am)

*Sisters' Bi-weekly Halaqa in English (2nd & 4th Tuesday, 6:30 pm)

*Sisters' Halaqa in Urdu (1st and 3rd Monday of the month, 6:30 pm)

*Sisters' Tajwid Class in Urdu - Free registration required (1st and 3rd Monday following Halaqa)

*Teen Girls Halaqa (3rd Friday of the month, 7:00 pm)

*Sisters Reading Club (last Wednesday of the month 6:30 pm)

*YM Boys Halaqa (every Saturday afternoons)




Join ISGVF Community WhatsApp group for updates:


https://chat.whatsapp.com/I2VojP9vVp02Cq8LGDHxUK


Subscribe to New YouTube Channel for ISGVF:


ISGVF is excited to introduce our YouTube Channel! Please press the subscribe button to stay up to date with our content and share the channel with others!


Youtube link: youtube.com/@isgvf 

OR search @ISGVF on YouTube



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