‘Tragedy, Trials & Tribulations: The Grace in Calamities,’ Sunday

The Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown will host its first conference event on Sunday, May 12. The program, “Tragedy, Trials & Tribulations: The Grace in Calamities,” will be divided in a number of segments, with the first part of the day taking place at Edmond Town Hall and the later portion to be held at The Al Hedaya Islamic Center.

The day will be filled with presentations, prayers, a panel discussion, and opportunities to learn about the local Islamic Center and regional organizations. Lunch and dinner will be served.

The morning will open with  Qur’an recitation and translation, and welcoming remarks by members of The Al Hedaya Islamic Center and The Muslim Student Association Connecticut Council (MSA-CT Council).

Invited speakers, “widely known across the Muslim world, [will] speak to the theme of the conference from the perspective of a Muslim response to tragedy and tribulation,” said Cynthia Elhag, a founding member of The Al Hedaya Islamic Center. Sunday’s invited speakers include Ust Yasmin Mogahed, who will speak on “The Grace in Calamities” and, following a short break, “Connecticut with our Creator for Comfort.”

The event will also include a brief overview of the programs and activities of MSA-CT, The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Connecticut chapter (CAIR-CT), Muslim Coalition of Connecticut (MCCT), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Relations (IR) and MSA-CT in Connecticut.

Following lunch and Duhr prayer, Omer Bajwa will then offer the next presentation (the title of which had not been announced as of May 10).

Co-organized with the MSA-CT Council, the day-long forum will also feature a panel discussion with members of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association, which has in recent months “emerged as a model of interfaith cooperation in bringing communities together,” said Ms Elhag. The clergy will share their perspectives on working together across boundaries of faith with the benefits and challenges of such an outreach.

Panelists will include the Reverend Leo Mcllath, Rabbi Shaul Praver, Reverend Matt Crebbin, Reverend Kathie Adams-Shepard, Margo Deselin and Dr John Woodall. Moderator will be Chaplain Omer Bajwa.

Following another short break, the forum will continue with two presentations by Hafidh Wisam Sharieff: “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” and “Beautiful Patience: The Road to Recovery.” This will conclude the day’s events at the Main Street location.

The evening portion of the conference will be at The Al Hedaya Islamic Center, 115 Mt Pleasant Road, from 6 to 9 pm.

Asr prayer will open the new segment of the day, which will continue with another presentation by Hafidh Wisam Sharieff, “Role of the Masjid in Our Communities.”

Maghrib prayer will occur shortly after 8 pm, followed by dinner and then Ishaa prayer and closing remarks.

All are welcome to attend any or all portions of the forum. A conference video trailer can be viewed online.

For additional information call 203-426-0589 or visit www.msgdanbury.org.

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