Halwadeen Festival at UICA

This Saturday, October 29th, the United Islamic Center of Arizona hosted its very own Halwadeen Festival and warmly welcomed its community members for a beautiful night of food and fun. The UICA Board and committee members have been hard at work in putting together what was one of the largest events at our mosque for the past month, and were extremely grateful for the support and turnout from our parents, students, and valuable volunteers that contributed to the success of the event. To the cars passing by, this may have seemed like an average mosque version of the State Fair, but the endless laughter, the volunteering, and the genuine love was truly unique and unforgettable.

As a member of UICA’s Youth Committee, my role for the event was determined pretty early. “Simra, you’re in charge of representing the youth committee, talking to parents, and encouraging the youth to join our events, okay?” Sure that doesn’t seem like the most entertaining thing to do, especially while being surrounded by bouncy houses, a ping pong table, and the smell of various delicious sweets and snacks. However, meeting so many new parents and hearing how much they want their children to start loving the mosque was so heartwarming and worth every second. Not only that, but parents from all across the valley did not hesitate to share kind words of encouragement and appreciation for the work our youth committee is pulling off.

The Youth Committee’s bright and welcoming table invited the youth to engage in a variety of entertaining and educational activities for the grand prize of a handful of candy. Committee leaders played trivia games with the kids about the Sahaba of the Prophet as well as the steps of Salah. Kids were invited to answer the question “What does it mean to be a Muslim to you?” and write their answers on cute paper cutouts, which will be compiled together and be made into a nice piece of artwork for the masjid. Overall, the youth of our mosque, as well as many new faces, enjoyed learning things but also teaching us about themselves.

One of the best parts of having a large event like this at our mosque is being able to pray in the mosque together with our friends and family. UICA had the pleasure of hosting folks from the Bayan Islamic Graduate School, and its special guests Shaykh Abdallah Deeb and his son, Imam Ahmad Deeb. Our musallah and parking lot were filled with the beautiful voice of Shaykh Abdallah and what followed was one of the most eloquent and inspiring lectures by his son.

We ask and pray that Allah blesses our community with more beautiful gatherings like this one in the future in which we can show our unity and love for the sake of Allah. Thank you to everyone who came out to support our mosque and enjoy the beauty of a blessed event like this. A special appreciation and gratitude to our UICA board, committee leaders and members, as well as our hardworking volunteers who put in so much time and effort into making this happen.