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ICOS Annual Report 2016


إِنَّ هَذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
“Indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so worship Me.” (Quran 21:92)
Assalamu Alaikum,

Alhumdulillah, we have been serving the Muslim community in Ithaca for over two years. The support we continue to receive indicates that our services have been beneficial and worthwhile for the community. This email serves to highlight our accomplishments in 2016 and goals for 2017.

First, we praise Allah (SWT) who granted us the opportunity and ability to accomplish what we accomplished and we ask Him to accept it from us and from you: تَقَبَّلَ اللّهُ مِنَّا وَ مِنْكُمْ.

From the first day, we have pursued our four primary objectives and hope to continue to do so this coming year:
  • Establish services for the Muslims of Ithaca
  • Unite the Muslims of Ithaca
  • Positively impact the surrounding Ithaca community
  • Educate the Ithaca community about Islam
Over the last year, we established a presence in the greater Ithaca community through our open houses and other outreach activities. Our connections with people outside the Muslim community will be increasingly important over the next year as we expand our network and collaborate with existing contacts.

In the past year, we also focused on sustainability. While we have not yet achieved true sustainability, we did make some progress:
  • From the continuity perspective, we needed to ensure that services continue running and evolving to meet the needs of community members. For this reason, we tried to include more people in organization and planning of our services. For example, we created a committee to run the children Islamic school, got more people to help in our halal meat service, and tried to reach out to other individuals for other planned services. One of our main focuses this year will be to reach out and include more people in our community services. We are also planning organizational changes to achieve continuity.
  • From the financial perspective, we wanted to pursue multiple avenues to lessen the financial burden on the community. In order to prevent intermittent cash shortages, we got multiple people to setup monthly pledges, and we also setup a reserve fund where 10% of donations would be kept for future needs. We hope to increase the number of pledges this year and reach out to other communities to achieve financial stability.
Please consider contributing financially towards the expected costs. The estimated operating budget for 2017 is $30,000. If we had every individual setup a pledge of $20-$30 per month, we would be covered for the whole year. You can setup a monthly pledge by clicking here. Any amount will help and will be rewarded by Allah (SWT). More details on how to donate are found at the end of the report.

Finally, we are always looking for feedback and additional ideas. If you have any, please let us know as your input is highly valuable.

The remainder of the report continues below. We hope you take time to read it...

We ask Allah (SWT) to enable us to accomplish more in the coming year and to purify our intentions for doing this for only His sake. Ameen.

Jazakum Allahu Khairan,

Mohamed Ismail

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Annual Report Contents

Our 2017 Goals


This year, our focus will be to involve more community members in our on-going and future projects. 

We would also like to continue existing programs and expand our offerings:
  1. Five times daily prayers
  2. Children Islamic school
  3. Adult halaqahs
  4. Providing a variety of halal meat
  5. Inviting a scholar for the month of Ramadan and scholars throughout the year
  6. Increasing the number of community potlucks and events
  7. Pursuing more opportunities to educate non-Muslims about Islam
  8. Organizing additional educational classes for adults and children
  9. Establishing a set of procedures and infrastructure to enable Islamic burials in Ithaca

We ask Allah (SWT) to enable us to accomplish all of the above to the best of our abilities for His sake only. Ameen.

Get Involved

There are many opportunities to get involved. If you are interested in any of these, please let us know and we will provide you with more information:

  1. Compact of Mutual Respect – This is a document we would draft, inviting the participation of other faith groups, which would affirm the rights of all to practice their religion, and promise to stand with all against any effort to discriminate against members of any religious group. This would be circulated to all the churches and temples in our area with the hope of bringing many of the faith communities into an expressed agreement of mutual support for the rights of one another. We need help with the writing and circulating of this document.
  2. Rural Area Outreach – Extend the outreach that we have begun with the open houses in Ithaca to some of the rural areas where people may not have had the chance to meet Muslims. We need people willing to visit rural areas for organized meetings.
  3. Halal Meat – We are looking for people to help with taking orders, picking up the meat, and distributing the meat. No car necessary if you are helping with orders or distribution.
  4. Newsletter – We are looking for people to help create a newsletter that will keep us informed about what is happening in our community.
  5. Planning Committee – We are looking for people to help manage our many on-going and future projects.
  6. Treasurer – We are looking for a highly responsible and organized individual to manage ICOS finances.

Our Outreach Opportunities

We are at a point at which the necessity to be engaging with the larger community is very great, particularly as misrepresentations of Islam form an important part of the public discourse in changing times. The ground work that has been established through the open houses held at the Moosalla over the last year, as well as initiatives from individual members of our community that have given us a visibility in the community and established a network of good will and support among a number of the local community members.

We need help planning, coordinating, and administrating this outreach work. Please let us know if you can contribute.

In Progress or Planned in 2017

  1. An activity that would bring members of our community together with those of the Temple Beth-El congregation, perhaps something to benefit the Ithaca Welcomes Refugees effort.
  2. There was to have been a resolution put before the Tompkins County Legislature stating a position against Islamophobia last month. It was delayed, but the Legislator who would sponsor this would like to meet with a group of us to make a relationship and get help with the language of the resolution before the next opportunity to present it.
  3. In response to our request to make outreach connections in the outlying rural areas of the county, where most people may never have met Muslims, a pastor in one of the churches in Spencer, NY would like to plan a fellowship dinner, perhaps in February, with members of her congregation.
  4. We are planning to work with a group of 9th graders from a nearby Tech Academy in Cortland, to help with their curriculum project promoting tolerance and specifically focused on their views and common understandings about Islam.
  5. Moderating a book club meeting in which members are planning to read about Islam.
  6. A presentation as part of the Sunday service at the Unitarian Church.
  7. A session exploring common stereotypes about Muslims with the Tikkun V'Or Jewish community (which will include a fundraising effort for our Masjid).

Outreach in 2016

  1. Open houses every Saturday starting February 6 until May 7, with additional Sunday open houses on March 20 and April 10. In addition, we held open houses on May 21, July 30, September 10, October 8, and November 5 (21 total). Open houses were an important way to make connections with people in the Ithaca community and discuss misrepresentations of Islam.
  2. An open community meeting on December 3 at GIAC to discuss ways to respond to the bigotry and hate of the incoming US administration. This was attended by close to 60 people and we proposed three projects: compact of mutual respect, rural area outreach, and interfaith service.
  3. Taste of Muslim Culture on May 14, an event in which more than a hundred guests tried out food from various Muslim-majority countries with proceeds going to building the first mosque in Ithaca.
  4. Ramadan dinner on June 26 in which we invited non-Muslim guests to join us for iftaar.
  5. An Ithaca Times article (link) published about our community on September 7.
  6. Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children food packing events from September 22-24. Our group raised over $1,500 for the cause making us the team with the most collected.
  7. Visits by the two Tompkins County District Attorney candidates on October 29 and November 3.
  8. Participation at the Ithaca and GIAC festivals on June 3 and 4 with proceeds going to building the first mosque in Ithaca.
  9. Participation in the Orlando shooting vigil in Ithaca commons on June 14.
  10. Participation in the Challenge Islamophobia and Fight Against Racism rally on December 17.
  11. An invitation from residents of McGraw House in Ithaca to discuss about Islam on March 31 followed by a visit from residents to the moosalla on May 22.
  12. An invitation to Catholic-Muslim dialogue on September 8.
  13. Presentation of Islam to the Catholic community on October 20 attended by around 70 people.
  14. Panel discussion at TC3 on October 27 following a classroom discussion in the previous week.
  15. Multiple meetings with members of the various Jewish communities and a visit by the Reform Jewish community at the moosalla.
  16. Muslim mural approved in Green Street garage with work starting on August 28.
  17. Holiday cards sent to various Christian communities in late December wishing them the best during the holidays.
  18. And more...

Abdul Razak Memorial Fund


"Inna Lillahi wa inna illayhi raji'un" - To Allah we all belong, and to Him is our return.

On November 22, 2016, brother Abdul Razak passed away. He had lived in Ithaca for over forty years, mainly working as a shop owner and businessman on the Commons.

In his memory, various family friends sent money to establish the Abdul Razak memorial fund.

In consultation with his wife, we have decided to use the money collected to create a library of children Islamic books and other introductory Islamic books.

What We Accomplished


In the beginning of the year, we set out to accomplish some goals. The following shows our progress:
  1. Five times daily prayers - ✓
  2. Children Islamic school - ✓
  3. Adult halaqahs - ✓Weekly brothers halaqahs
  4. Providing a variety of halal meat - ✓ Added a meat supplier for more reliability
  5. Inviting a scholar for the month of Ramadan - ✗ Could not find anyone this year
  6. Holding regular community potlucks and events - Outside of Ramadan, we have four regular events (two for Eid and two for the Islamic school)
  7. Pursuing opportunities to educate non-Muslims about Islam - ✓ Expanded our outreach network and increased the number of opportunities
  8. Organizing additional educational classes for adults and children - ✓ Summer Quran classes from 7/25-8/18 and tafseer classes during Ramadan
  9. Establishing a set of procedures and infrastructure to enable Islamic burials in Ithaca - Started but incomplete
Alhumdulillah, we have reached the following milestones over the last year:
  1. Reduced meat prices to minimize profit and improve affordability for community members on Friday, January 15, 2016.
  2. Invited guests to our first open house on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Open houses would continue weekly until Ramadan and monthly following Ramadan.
  3. Following a negative cash balance on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 we quickly recovered with the help of generous donations and established a reserve fund on Friday, April 29, 2016 to limit the impact of future cash shortages.
  4. Established a school committee on Friday, April 22, 2016 to oversee organization of the Islamic school. Nominations of the school committee started on Friday, April 29, 2016.
  5. Provided summer Quran classes four days a week for four weeks from Monday, July 25, 2016 to Thursday, August 18, 2016.
  6. Our anniversary of providing two years of service to the Ithaca community on Monday, August, 22, 2016.
  7. Established connection with Nema Halal for more reliability in providing beef meat on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.
  8. Involved additional people for helping with the halal meat service on Sunday, August 28, 2016.
  9. Increased selection of farms for slaughtering animals during Eid Al-Adha on Monday, September 12, 2016.
  10. Hosted a open community meeting at GIAC on Saturday, December 3, 2016 where we proposed action items to respond to the results of the election.
In addition, community members have benefited from ICOS resources through:
  1. Weekly halaqah for Muslim brothers consisting of visitations, developing brotherhood, and dinner.
  2. Qiyaam nights and itikaaf at the moosalla, especially in the last 10 nights of Ramadan.
  3. Multiple groups of travelers visiting the moosalla for a few days.
  4. Quran class for children and sisters on January 23, 30, and February 6.
  5. Ithaca Welcomes Refugees crafts days at the moosalla on February 27 and April 2.
  6. Quran recitation and dhikr sessions on April 1, 8, and 15.
  7. Children Islamic school end-of-year picnic on May 22.
  8. Community potlucks every Saturday during Ramadan.
  9. Daily recitation of Quran and hadith during Ramadan.
  10. Ramadan activities such as daily question, weekly question, and best comment competition.
  11. Tafseer classes on June 11 and 18.
  12. A Quran competition held on July 2.
  13. Eid celebrations for Eid Ul-Fitr on July 9 and Eid Al-Adha on September 17.
  14. Multiple visits to brother Abdul Razak weekly beginning on July 24 until his passing on November 22 and burial on November 26.
  15. Welcome event on August 28 for new community members and students.

By the Numbers


29 - Number of children registered for the children Islamic school
49 - Number of active adult members (estimated)
58 - Number of known donors
87 - Number of events held (estimated)
129 - Number of people on our guest list for open house invitations

Current Assets
$2,575.82 - Reserve fund
$845.00 - Abdul Razak memorial fund
$1,500.00 - Security deposit

Income
+ $25,708.22 - Total contributions in 2016
- $2,570.82 - Added to reserve fund (10% of contributions)
- $
795.00 - Added to Abdul Razak memorial fund
- $1,500
.00 - Given for security deposit
- $22,690.43 - Total related expenses in 2016
----------------------------------------------------------

- $1,848.03 - Net income for 2016

Available Cash
$1,865.51 - January 1, 2016
$17.48 - December 31, 2016

Below we provide the following financial breakdowns:
  • Contribution Breakdown - Shows the sources for the total contributions. Gifts and School Contributions were direct contributions from known individuals or groups. Anonymous Donations were contributions from individuals whose names are not known. Other Sources include contributions from other sources and profits from halal meat.
  • Expenses Breakdown - Shows the breakdown for total related expenses.
  • Known Donor Breakdown - Among known contributors, a histogram showing the number of donors giving in different donation ranges.

Letters of Support


Alhumdulillah, we have received many gestures of support over the past couple of months. In addition to messages from individuals, we received letters of support from two religious communities. They are presented below.

Help us reach $30,000!


In order to fulfill its mission and objectives, Islamic Community Outreach Services relies on contributions from generous individuals.
Donate Bar
If you cannot donate right away or would like to donate monthly, please complete this pledge form.

If you can donate right away, here are the options:

Online


You can use your debit card to donate online by visiting:

cash.me/$ICOS

Mail


You can send checks* to our address:

111 E. Seneca St.
Ithaca, NY 14850

In Person


You can place cash or checks* in the donation box located near the entrance of the moosalla.
* Checks should be made payable to Islamic Community Outreach Services.
Note about contributions
Islamic Community Outreach Services is not registered as a non-profit organization. As a result, contributions will NOT be classified as IRS tax-deductible donations. Rather they will be classified as a gift. More information regarding gifts can be found on the IRS website.

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
"Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them." (Quran 2:3)

The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (Quran 2:261)

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.” (Muslim)

Copyright © 2017 Islamic Community Outreach Services, All rights reserved.



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