By Maraea Mason
On Oct14, BenU’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosted a religious based event in collaboration with the Young Muslims Chicago Chapter and the Islamic Center Naperville called “Homeboyz of the Prophet”.
BenU welcomed two guest speakers, Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa and BenU class of ’07 alum, Shayk Mir Rizwan Ali to speak on the characteristics of the ten Promised Jannah of the Muslim faith last week.
“We wanted to have an event that not only attracted our community, but also reached out to the community outside of BenU,” said Wedad Yassin, treasurer of MSA.
“When the president of Young Muslims approached us with having a joint event, we grabbed the opportunity,” Yassin added. “Having events that both affect college and high school level youth opens the door to the high school students to be aware that college students are not far away… and that [we] have the same lessons to learn.”
Dr. Hassaballa focused on the love of God. He shared that while there is no verse in the Qur’an that directly says God loves you, it is implied all over the Qur’an. Hassaballa stated that growing up, no one told him that God loved him.
“Realizing that God loved me has been a continuing evolution over the past 10 or more years,” said Hassaballa. “I grew up being more afraid of God and being punished.”
According to Hassaballa, God’s love can be felt in everything we do. From the function of our eyes to the ability to feel pains are examples of God’s love is all around us.
“God’s love is why we are here, it is the essence of who we are,” Hassaballa added.
The second speaker, Shayk Ali focused more on the characteristics of the promised Jannah, who were the first people to accept Islam. Most of the first 10 were young in age, the youngest being 10 years old. According to Muslim beliefs, the Jannah and those who possess the characteristics are accepted into Paradise.
As a senior, Ali was the president of MSA, but there wasn’t as large of a Muslim community at his school.
“I didn’t expect there to be so many people to come out tonight, but I’m very impressed,” Ali said.
Students, family and other members of the community filled every seat in Scholl’s lecture hall with at least 45 other guests filling the stairs and the floor.
“ We had no idea we’d have over 400 people. It was overwhelming,” said sophomore Salman Abdulmajeed. “The greater the gathering, the more blessings there are. I could feel the vibes of hundreds of hearts leaning towards God that night. It was epic.”