XBox Kinect Adventures Tourney – Friday, November 23, 2012

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) blogger extraordinaire, reader, or casual virtual passer-by,

We’re scaaaarrreeeddd (well except for Mustafa)…cheer up fellas, the fun’s about to begin!

After reading the title of this post, your initial thought may be – I thought the IYG was supposed to be playing indoor soccer tonight! What happened? Unfortunately due to multiple scheduling conflicts, indoor soccer had to be put on the shelf for another day. We still wanted our young men to receive their 60 minutes of intense physical activity for the day; thus instead of soccer, we held an XBox Kinect Adventures mini-tourney! Before the tournament began, we took a moment to discuss an important incident which occurred in history many, many, many  (keep going) years ago. During the time of Prophet Musa (Moses), alayhis sallam (peace be upon him), in the land of Egypt, there lived a big ol’ meanie nicknamed Pharaoh (or firawn). Pharaoh enjoyed bringing harm to others (in particular people who were not from his family or ethnicity) and was known for his arrogance. When Prophet Musa, alayhis sallam, paid a visit to the Pharaoh and invited him to accept the core message of Islam (there is no deity worthy of being worshiped except for Allah [God]), Pharoah turned up his nose and told Musa to leave him alone. After realizing Pharaoh was not one to listen to sound advice, Musa, alayhis sallam, was commanded to take his followers and leave Egypt. The big ol’ meanie gathered his giant army and began chasing after Musa, alayhis sallam, and his followers to try to harm them. Eventually Musa, alayhis sallam, and his followers reached the Red Sea and, after a divinely ordained miracle, crossed through the sea. Pharaoh reached the party late and decided they too would be able to cross the Red Sea but ended up drowning as the water surrounded Pharaoh and his army.

To commemorate this day in history, Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, encouraged the Muslims to fast on the 10th day in the lunar month of Muharram (known as the Day of Ashura). This was the day when Prophet Musa, alayhis sallam, and his followers were saved from the Pharaoh of Egypt.

After reviewing the amazing story of the journey of Prophet Musa, alayhis sallam, and his followers in being rescued from the evil clutches of the Pharaoh of Egypt, our young men embarked on their own adventure using the XBox Kinect. Below you’ll see our youth twisting, jumping, and contorting their bodies in unique ways in an effort to collect valuable points. Enjoy!

Whoa! Murtaza contorts his body in an unbelievable way to save his water raft!

Danyal appears to be falling off of the screen…quick Danyal make your raft jump!


Ahmed gets ready to jump; meanwhile Omar and Hamza engage in a deep intellectual discussion in the background.

Abdelrahman offers some advice to Raad…Raad appears not to be buying in to the message.


Raad then decides to duck for cover!

Raad, Mohamed, and Mustafa run to our snack station for a quick energy boost.


Let me in! Let me in! Mujtaba and Omar fight for XBox supremacy.

They decided sharing was caring and ended up playing together! Good compromise amigos.


Mustafa may have a new career option…rock star (of river rafting of course)!

Abdelrahman and Mohamed pose for a funny picture during Rallyball.


These two would like to give y’all a virtual high-five. Please be careful not to smash your computer screen!

Murtaza and Danyal share a high-five moment over Rallyball. Great work gentlemen!

Tonight marked the end of our IYG Fall 2012 Program. Truly none of these events would be possible without the Mercy and help of Allah, azza wa jal, the support of our families, and the excitement and participation of our youth. As we sadly migrate to the winter months, chilly weather, and final exams, our mentors will be hard at work trying to put together another memorable program for our youth for Spring 2013. We wish our young men and their families a safe, relaxing winter vacation after the rigorous week of final exams comes to an end!

Wassalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you),

IYG Mentors


IYG PBA Bowling Champs! – Friday, November 17, 2012

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) fellow readers,

Tonight the young men of the ISGL Youth Group took part in a favorite American past-time activity…BOWLING! Before we could put on a show for the audience gathered at the PMU bowling alley, we had a quick discussion about the importance of technique. Technique, as our young lads astutely pointed out, is the way you do carry out a specific action (or the way to do something). Using the right technique is important in all aspects in life – from driving a car to throwing a football to praying to bowling. Using the wrong technique or not following proper directions can lead one to undesirable results (such as throwing a gutter ball in bowling). After reviewing one accepted technique for knocking down the pins in our bowling game and praying Isha at the ISGL, we headed over to the PMU for a friendly (yet highly-competitive) hour of non-stop bowling as you can see below:

Meditation session by our elders before the anxious moment when each must face the angry 10 pins. Relax amigos, everything will be “A” okay.

Perfect form! Leave it to our mentor, Fahad, to show our young lads a correct way to bowl.

Sadly Fahad’s proper technique did not lead to the desired results. Meanwhile, in the background, Mustafa pulls on the brakes as he glides towards the alley with his ball.


Tandem tosses – Muhammad and Abdelrahman let the balls fly!

Abdelrahman scoops up a strike to the joy of his cheering friends.


Bassim advises Muhammad on the art of earning a spare. Just throw the ball and let the bumpers be your friend!

Do you like my ball? I like my ball! If you don’t like my ball, we can’t be friends.


Murtaza scores a STRIIIIKKKKKEEEE! Yippee!

STRIKEEEEEEEEE!!! Mujtaba knocks the pins down with the smoothness of butter.


Hamza appears satisfied with his effort.

Omar pulling double duty – reading while bowling. Here’s a young man with many skills.


You know the discussion we had about technique…let’s just say Mohamed chose to use his own technique which involved him falling flat on his belly. It worked to the tune of 3 strikes.

Things got a little weird when the lights were turned off…everything started to glow, including some of our youth!


The winning team for tonight’s challenge with a team total of over 380 points!!! What do you think – should we play again?

Game Board Test & Itikha’f – Friday, November 9, 2012


Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) folks,

A few weeks back we left y’all on a bit of a cliff hanger. Our youth spent one Friday night designing and building their very own, handy-dandy game board. Tonight the final versions of the game boards were revealed for all to see! After testing out the neat game boards designed by our youth and enjoying a light meal together, we finished off the evening with a few raka’t of tahajjud before getting some rest before Fajr prayer.

Salah and Fahad remind our young men that having fun is totally allowed within our faith but our fun should stay within a few guidelines. Mustafa appears to be having a lot of fun!

Salah has a question for y’all; who knows the answer?

Abdelrahman and Mujtaba think they know the right answer. By the smile on Salah’s face, we think they do!

Ice cream AND pizza!!! A little snack to re-charge our batteries for the rest of the evening’s activities.

Feel up for a game of Conqueror? These young lads do! Strategy being discussed in-depth by the players.


In case you need directions for how to play the game…

Shujath and Abdelrahman get to know one another over a friendly game of air soccer (kinda like air hockey but without the air). Don’t lose your marbles!

Muhammad and Ahmed trade turns trying to navigate through “The Haunted Classroom!” Punishment for landing on the wrong spot…you must answer a question from school. Dun dun DUUUUUNNNNN!!!! Ruuuuunnnnnn!


Murtaza and Ahmed take a stab at Salah’s creative masterpiece. How do we play this game again? Wake up, Ahmed! It’s not time to sleep yet!!!

Yet another soccer game makes an appearance…we warned you many times – our youth LOVE soccer.


Bassim explains how to play “Mine Trap” to his pals Mustafa and Shujath. We have steadily migrated from the tables to the comfort of the carpeted floor…


In 15 minutes Bassim came up with a new game involving bridges, colored stickers, and…….a PIZZA BOX! Creative genius ma shaa Allah! Mustafa lurks in the background excited to try this new game board out.


Nerd alert – a human biofilm forming in the distance.


Tahajjud time! Mujtaba leads our IYG’ers in two rak’ats of extra prayer in the wee hours of Friday night.


Sleep time! Either that or we have unearthed a mummy living in the halls of the ISGL…

IYG’s Got Talent (Show) – Friday, November 2, 2012

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) avid blogger readers,

What is a talent?

Friday’s activity began with this simple question posed to our youth. When asked to provide examples of different types of talent, our young men mentioned the usual suspects – soccer star who can kick incredible goals, a comedian who can tell jokes which brings an audience to their knees in laughter, and a n artist capable of drawing a masterpiece on a blank sheet of canvas/paper. A talent then is a trade or a skill set an individual is really good at performing/doing. From a person skilled with performing tricks on a yo-yo or skateboard to a basketball player throwing down wicked dunks to a qari (Qur’an reciter) moving the hearts of the listener by the recitation of the Qur’an, talent has many different flavors. Some talents are natural to pick up while others take a lot of practice to develop. Regardless, for an individual to become a master of his/her craft, it requires patience and hard work.

Tonight we put the microphone and spotlight on our young men and asked them to showcase their talent to an audience of their peers. Oftentimes we recognize talents other people possess which we lack – Lebron James can seemingly dunk a basketball or block a shot from anywhere in the half court, Lionel Messi can score a goal from amazing angles on the soccer field, Mishary Rashid Al Afasy can connect you to the Qur’an when he recites, and Shaun White can perform aerial stunts with his snowboard which leave you shaking your head. What our youth fail to realize is even if they can’t dunk a basketball or sing a nasheed on-tune, they are each blessed with amazing, diverse talents. Whether it be writing a piece of poetry or memorizing 50 words in a minute, each of us is blessed with abilities and talents by Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala.

After sharing this reminder with our youth, our very own IYG’s Got Talent Show kicked off. Feast your eyes below on the talented youth in the IYG!

Can we please get this show started?

Danyal starts the show off with free form art (SPLATTER PAINT!)…why does he need so much paint?


Behold…it’s a…pizza!

Murtaza plays Old McDonald with a board full of keys. What is he hiding behind that big black folder?


Hamza follows with a gymnastics routine including a roll…

…followed next by a tumble!


Mohamed thought that he could outperform Hamza; watch out for the chairs!

Meet tonight’s game show host – Mustafa!


Everyone appears stumped by Mustafa’s question. I wonder what the question was?

The comics were out in full force tonight! First up, Mujtaba.


Raad grabs the mic and quickly brings the crowd to their knees in laughter.

Abdelrahman concludes our talent show with one final joke to the delight of our audience!


Eid-ul-Adha Partay! – Friday, October 26, 2012

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) youngin’s, elders, and all readers of age in-between,

Every once in awhile, it is nice to take a break from the normal day-to-day routine and enjoy a special event. Friday proved to be such a day as it was the second holiday of the year for Muslims around the world – a holiday known as Eid-ul-Adha. This day is unique for it reminds us of the great sacrifice and test put forward to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), alayhis sallam (peace be upon him), and Prophet Isma’il (Ishmael), alayhis sallam. Sacrifice however is just one lesson learned on this day. Another major lesson is the importance of family; healthy families form the foundation for any strong, successful community.

As our community gathered for the special Eid prayer early on this chilly cold Friday morning (at Burtsfield Gymnasium), we were given a short, beautiful reminder from one of our IYG mentors, Br. Ihsan. Though there were several gems contained in the short reminder, one of the best was make Eid a special day for the kids – it need not be something extraordinary, just something out of the ordinary. Taking this gem as a springboard, we treated our hard-working young men to a fun-tastic, exhilarating Eid-ul-Adha Partay in the evening.

Any good party has to have  its share of delicious food and our party was no exception – pizza, caramel apples, and ice cream were on tonight’s menu. Looking past the food, our youth enjoyed our own version of Chuck-E-Cheese-style games. Participating in each game allowed our young men the chance to earn valuable points. At the end of the night, the points would be redeemed for jaw-dropping prizes which would leave all of our youth in a joyous state of glee. Don’t believe us? Check out the proof in the pictures below:

The cheesy remnants of our delicious meal – PIIIIIIIZZZZZZAAAAAA!!!

No youth-themed meal can be complete without dessert. Caramel apples anyone? Go ahead and grab one off the computer screen!


Br. Adil, looking quite festive, deals out the rules for the Ping-Pong tournament. All eyes are on him (or is it his Eid outfit…we can’t decide).

Murtaza and Mujtaba chalk their pool sticks for a (once) friendly game of pool. Tears would be shed in the end of this game. See why in the next picture!


Mujtaba thought he needed some extra juice to achieve victory…sadly the pepper he bit into had too many seeds and well…tears were shed.

Murtaza lends a helping hand, er stick, to his teammate Abdelrahman. Abdelrahman smacks the balls with amazing force ma shaa Allah!


Danyal steadies his breathing and hands prior to striking the little white ball. Meanwhile Mohamed A.M. provides commentary and advice in the background.

Ummm, where’s Mario Salah? Wii seems to not be cooperating yet…


Mario is back! Shujath and Ahmed try their hand at Mario Kart.

The looooonnnngggg table of prizes. Salah stands guard in the back watching for sticky, grabby hands.


More prizes! Does anyone else have their eyes on that football?

We think these youngins’ like the prizes they selected!

Eid Mubarak to you and your family!

Make-An-Eid Wish – Friday, October 19, 2012

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you)  fellow reader,

Uncle Fahad & Amu Omer break down the purpose behind our Make-An-Eid Wish activity.

Think back in time to the favorite/best gift you have ever received in your life – a toy, a car, a garment, a piece of jewelry. What made that gift so special? Was it the item itself something you really, really wanted; was it the fact that the person who gave the gift was someone you admired or respected? On Friday night, we began by asking the young men of the ISGL Youth Group these exact questions. In terms of the best gift ever received, answers varied from – a trip to Washington, D.C. to lunch to being given the blessing of being a Muslim. When the tables were turned and our mentors asked our youth the best gift they ever game to somebody else, the responses given were pretty awesome – money to a friend so he could buy lunch to giving a remote controlled car won in a contest to a child who really wanted it all the way to providing food for community members who were homeless.

Giving gifts is an encouraged action from the sunnah (way/teachings) of the final human messenger Muslims believe was sent to mankind, Prophet Muhammad, salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), because it increases love and brotherhood/sisterhood between people. Next Friday evening, in shaa Allah (if Allah wills), our youth will be receiving many gifts from their families and friends during our second holiday of the year, Eid-ul-Adha. However, some families in our local communities won’t be able to provide their children gifts due to certain circumstances beyond their control. Tonight, our youth were given the opportunity to put on their superhero capes and fulfill an Eid wish sent to us by 5 families.

After Fahad and Mr. Omer Hassan, community service coordinator for the Purdue University Muslim Student Association, explained the details of the night’s shopping spree and broke our youth into small teams, our young men were off to the races!

Men on a mission – show us the gift aisle please!

Muhammad finds a neat gift – checkers!


Danyal grabs a rainbow-esque Tumbling Towers game from the board game aisle.

On the prowl for more toys – where are they headed?


Matchbox cars! Huddle (shura) time – which ones are we going to get?

Meanwhile, Adil and Salah share a giggle in the card aisle as our young men search high-and-low for thoughtful cards.


Fahad’s crew returns with a cart burgeoning with chocolate and arts-and-crafts kits. Seriously, are we trying to give someone a sugar overdose? Look at the size of those candy bags!

Omer bhai reveals scarves, gloves, and hats for mom and dad carefully selected by Raad, Ahmed, and Murtaza.


Shujath doing a great job packaging our young men’s gift choices into beautifully selected gift bags – tissue paper, gotta love the color choices!

The finished products – I’m sure our recipient families will be thrilled to receive these thoughtful treasures from our youth!

Our young men did an awesome job selecting and wrapping really thoughtful gifts for our recipient families. Each family member – parents and children alike – will receive a gift which we hope will spark a joyful Eid experience in shaa Allah. We ask Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, to accept from us our efforts and to forgive us for any mistakes we may have made. Ameen.

Make A Meal Night – Friday, October 12, 2012

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Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) parents, youth, and members of our virtual audience,

Quick question – how many people in the U.S. lack a proper home (or are classified as being homeless)?

Answer – in a nation as wealthy as the U.S., over 636,000 people were homeless in the year 2011 according to a study by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Stop and think about that figure for one moment. These individuals live amongst us in our community but lack the basic resources to take care of their needs. Oftentimes the homeless rely on assistance from food pantries and shelters just to find a meal for a given day or a place to sleep when the weather cools outdoors. Some aren’t as fortunate and instead find themselves sleeping under a bridge or on the surface of a cold concrete sidewalk as the weather drops below freezing. On Friday night, our young men met one such individual.

On Friday night, our youth were given the opportunity to prepare dinner for members of our community who are homeless. The meal our youth made would be the last meal many members of the homeless community would eat until Monday. As our young men worked hard in the kitchens of the ISGL to prepare a healthy, hearty meal of spaghetti, garlic bread, and a tossed salad – our mentors discussed an important principle of Islam of taking care of members of our community who are unable to take care of themselves (regardless if it be due to health, age, or financial constraints). After preparing dinner, our young men (dubbed ajr superheroes) were transported to Lafayette Transitional Housing to serve their hearty meal to members of the homeless community gathered there for the last meal of the day.

With warm smiles, perked-up ears, and a dose of kindness, our youth prepared plates of food, handed out drinks, and engaged our guests in conversation for 30 minutes, as dinner was served. The event proved an eye-opening experience for both youth and mentors alike. Below are a few pictures which capture our youth hard at work:

Danyal hands out after school snacks with a dose of…ummm…anger?

Raad performs an important step before preparing our lovely tossed salad…WASH THE FRUITS & VEGGIES!!!

Fruit Ninjas Hamza and Omar carefully slice to-ma-ters and cu-cum-brrs for our tasty salad.


Murtaza adds the final touches to our growing salad – CROUTONS!!!

Abdelrahman appears pleased with his work at the garlic bread station!


Fahad carefully places the scrumptious pieces of garlic bread into the oven as our youngins’ look on.

Meanwhile Danyal and Mujtaba get to work on the main course – pasta supremo!


Thumb up! Hamza gives our garlic bread and tossed salad his seal of approval.

Omar and Mujtaba prepare plates of food for our guests at the Lafayette Transitional Housing facility. Love the focus and concentration on their faces!


Abdelrahman and Muhammad hand out tonight’s healthy treat – bananas!


Dinner can’t be complete without a delicious treat…cake anyone?

Our team of ajr superheroes finishes serving our hearty meal to our guests.

Our young men showed a great deal of maturity and kindness in trying to lend a helping hand to members of our local community who are going through a difficult time in their life. We often forget the impact a smile or a small meal can have to anyone having a rough day. As our team of superheroes learned on Friday night, a little act of kindness can have a big impact. We ask Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, to accept from us our efforts and to forgive us for any mistakes we made. Ameen.

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