Dear Community Members, Asalaamu’alaykum

I hope and pray that all of you are safe and taking great precautions amid this recent the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Austin. Since my last update to you, the COVID-19 cases in Austin have increased to 120 cases per day. It is an uptick from a couple of weeks ago when the cases reported were at 75 cases/day.  Hospitalization is still at what it was 2 weeks ago. This uptick could be related to the opening of schools and colleges. We will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions accordingly.

The center has remained closed for the past 6 or so months. We know that you all miss coming to the center and at some point, in time we would have to adjust to the new normal and learn how to deal with it. Keeping that in mind, we are looking at the feasibility of holding the Arbaeen Majalis on the IABA campus. These majalis would be over 5 days. Rest assured that all precautions would be taken including wearing of face masks at all times, 6 feet distancing and open air seating. Also only a limited number of people would be permitted with age limits. Please stay tuned as we work through the SoPs and logistics.

Please note that Austin and Travis County residents can apply for financial help through the City of Austin. The financial help can be up to $2000 if selected. To apply please visit for more information: https://fund.uptogether.org/rise2. Please also inform those who you think can benefit from this program. The deadline to apply by is Sept 21, 2020.

Be mindful that the 2020 general election is right around the corner with early voting starting on Tuesday, October 13th.  We should all endeavor to exercise our right to vote. It is extremely important that we participate in this process and make our voices heard. This is our country and the country of our children. We should work hard to make this country a better place for all.

If you are not registered, this is the time to register for voting!

If you’re unsure about your voter registration status, you can look up your voter registration to make sure your information is correct. If you’re unregistered, check out: bit.ly/txmuslimsvote. Here you will find an online form that you can fill in. A printed voter registration application will be sent to you along with a pre-paid envelope for you to drop it in the mail. Once it is reviewed, you will be mailed your voter registration card.

Secondly, don’t forget to fill out the US Census at https://2020census.gov/. The attached document contains some further information about the US Census.

For any questions, please contact Zain Kazmi or Kumail Hasan.

I would like to thank all those who contributed to our Muharram Fundraising campaign. May Allah reward you all. We have so far collected $20891. Our goal was to collect $21000. We are almost there. We will keep this open till the Arbaeen. If you have not contributed so far, please take the time to contribute. It would be nice if we were to exceed this target just as we did during Ramadan.

You can get building updates and look at pictures from the construction site at.

https://iaba-austin.org/category/new-building/

As I have mentioned before, while we work to help outside organizations and movements that support racial equality, we cannot but be introspective about our own community. We all need to take a moment and reflect on our own biases, and prejudices and work towards eliminating them. Let us all work towards building a community that our Prophet (s.a.w) and the Ahlul Bait (a.s) wanted us to have, where piety and taqwa were valued over race, color of the skin and wealth.

As always, please provide your feedback at [email protected]. I am sure there are areas where we can do better.

Free public testing is now available in Austin. Please visit the following website for more information:

https://austintexas.gov/department/covid-19-information-0

Please be mindful of your neighbors and extend a helping hand to them when you can.

As always, I pray and hope that you are all doing fine and taking advantage to this time to remember Allah and to spend quality time with your family. Please pray for all, that Allah protects us from this serious illness.

If you need any non-medical help, please do not hesitate to call the following number. Our volunteers are here to help.

Help Line: 512-436-3595

Visit the IABA website for links to CDC resources and local testing information.

Regards,

Syed Ijlal Shah

President IABA