Salaam Alaikum Dear IABA Community,

The recent senseless and cruel act of violence that took the lives of 19 children and 2 teachers in Uvalde, Texas is shocking and saddening. Our heart felt condolences go out to the grieving parents, families and the whole Uvalde community. Our community and all the other Muslim congregations stand with you in this hour of immense grief. We also call upon the authorities to enact laws and policies that make it impossible for such acts to happen in the future.

I wanted to also take this opportunity to provide you all with an update on a few things that we are working on and their progress as well as our plans for the coming months

COVID-19:

As we know, Alhamdulillah, COVID-19 restrictions have been eased down due to a reduction in serious cases. We have also removed most of the restrictions for on-campus programs. As you must have read in program emails that are sent out. Let me reiterate the SoPs for on-campus programs:

  • Indoors:
    • Please wear a mask at all times.
    • Please observe social distancing.
    • Inside space is limited to 35 men and 25 women available on a first-come basis.
  • Outdoors
    • Masks are not required outside. If you are not vaccinated or are high risk for infection, you are highly encouraged to wear a mask.
    • Please observe social distancing.

Our data shows that almost 90% of our membership and people who attend the programs on a regular basis are fully vaccinated. We have also installed air purifiers in the main hall inside the building to further reduce the risk of spread of the virus.

We will keep on monitoring the conditions and will change our SoPs based on our risk assessment of the situation in Austin and at large.

Programing (Regular & special occasions):

As the COVID risk has reduced considerably, we will be having all our programs on the IABA campus. The program committee had put together an engaging program for Ramadan with Sheikh Jaffar for the first half of Ramadan and Sheikh Haziq for the second half. Besides having programs on Saturdays and special occasions, the program committee is also planning on having workshops and youth camps and youth programs. We already have established a regular Dua-i-Kumail program on Thursday, which has been going on successfully (Bon Fire after Dua-i-Kumail).

We had a very successful 15th of Shaban program, Ramadan and Eid programs. Our gratitude to volunteers that helped put these programs together.

Our objective is to encourage you all to come on IABA campus and participate in the programs. Any feedback is very welcome.

Since opening up we are having youth programs almost every Friday. These have been successful. I would encourage all the youth to participate in these programs.

Building Construction:

The building construction is moving along steadily, albeit has been hit by long lead times on the availability of the building materials and cost increases. We are managing to keep the cost down by working with KGA architects.

I have attached a few pictures of the building for your perusal.

Kitchen Remodeling:

Kitchen remodeling is done! Many thanks to all those who contributed financially and/or gave their time to see it through.

Madrassa:

We plan to have in-person classes. Inshallah, we will have the new building done in time. We are also working on plan B, in case, the building is not complete.

New Appointments:

The previous youth committee chair Sr. Sabika stepped down due to other commitments earlier this year. We thank Sr. Sabika for serving the community youth for the past several years.

Going forward we have appointed two new youth Co-Chairs – Br Muntazir Inayat and Sr. Saniya Shah, with Br. Wajahat Zaidi as the youth EC advisor.

Sr Soura also stepped down from the Secretary position. We thank her for her dedication and contributions over past two years. Br. Wajahat Zaidi will assume the role of Secretary.

Fund raising

The building still needs funds to complete. Although we have a credit line available to us, we would rather not have to use it. Please donate generously towards the building. This is your building and is being constructed for you and by your generous donations. Please also spread the news to your family and friends to contribute to the building. We have ijaza to accept Sahme-i-Imam (Khums) donations.

 

As always, stay safe, and may Allah shower His blessings on you all.

Regards,

Syed Ijlal Shah

President IABA