Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) audience members,

Tonight marked the second-to-last event of our unbelievable IYG Halalapalooza 2013 Program. As the weather was hot outdoors and our youth needed to finish one last 60-minute workout for the summer, we decided to conduct a video game tournament…in the multipurpose room of the ISGL. As cooks prepared food for tonight’s community iftar in the kitchens nearby, our youngins’ tried their best not to get distracted by the wonderful aroma escaping the confines of the kitchens. After the tournament concluded, we focused on the main program for the evening – itikha’f. Now young people often equate itikha’ with a giant sleepover. Though sleep is part of the equation, the focus of itikha’f is to seclude oneself (in the masjid) away from potential distractions to focus on improving one’s personal relationship with their Creator. This was a common practice of Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam (peace be upon him), during the month of Ramadan, in particular during the final ten nights. For our itikha’f, we used a healthy mix of youth-driven discussions, lending a hand during the community iftar, taraweeh prayer, recitation and reflection of Surah Ar-Rahman from the Qur’an, and an unplanned late-night qiyam session. Sleep was not part of the equation for these young lads (well until after Fajr prayer at least) tonight as you’ll find out in the pictures below:

Gather around everyone! Ahmed and Mohamed are about to explain the rules for the video game tourney.

Gather around everyone! Ahmed and Mohamed are about to explain the rules for the video game tourney.

 

A pink lighting bolt blasts off of Ahmed's hand towards our giant screen.

A pink lighting bolt blasts off of Ahmed’s hand towards our giant screen.

 

Muhammad jumps for joy...because he lost!

Muhammad jumps for joy…because he lost!

 

Discussion time! Today's topic - name one good deed we can do or one bad deed we can stay away from during the month of Ramadan to come closer to the Mercy of Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala.

Discussion time! Today’s topic – name one good deed we can do or one bad deed we can stay away from during the month of Ramadan to come closer to the Mercy of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala.

 

Mustafa shares a gem with the group as Nurideen chillaxes awaiting his turn.

Mustafa shares a gem with the group as Nurideen chillaxes awaiting his turn.

 

Post-discussion our youth perform a practice presentation for next week's Muslim HEROES oral presentation. Up first, Team Mali Relief!

Post-discussion our youth perform a practice presentation for next week’s Muslim HEROES oral presentation. Up first, Team Mali Relief!

 

Team Moore follows close after with their project to support the tornado victims in Moore, Oklahoma.

Team Moore follows close after with their project to support the tornado victims in Moore, Oklahoma.

 

After a delicious meal for iftar and praying Isha and taraweeh prayer, our youth needed to sit down for a late-night Qur'an session. Hey, someone wake-up Muhammad!

After a delicious meal for iftar and praying Isha and taraweeh prayer, our youth needed to sit down for a late-night Qur’an session. Hey, someone wake-up Muhammad!

 

Some youth decided to get comfy while taking part in our recitation of Surah Ar-Rahman.

Some youth decided to get comfy while taking part in our recitation of Surah Ar-Rahman.

 

Meet my friend...THE FROG!!!

Meet my friend…THE FROG!!!

 

Umm yes a pillow fight broke out soon thereafter...shhhhhh be quiet guys, Ahmed is sleeping!

Umm yes a pillow fight broke out soon thereafter…shhhhhh be quiet guys, Ahmed is sleeping!

 

After unsuccessfully trying to sleep, our bleary-eyed young men sit down before dawn for suhoor as they get ready to fast another day in Ramadan.

After unsuccessfully trying to sleep, our bleary-eyed young men sit down before dawn for suhoor as they get ready to fast another day in Ramadan.

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