MEET THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Moulana Nabi Raza Abidi (Mir)
BOT Finance Director
Shabber H. Syed
A Letter from the Head of Board of Trustees
May Allah bless you and your family.
I extend my tabrīkāt (blessings), taḥiyyāt (glad tidings), and duʿās (prayers) to you all on the advent of the spiritual season and the blessed month of Rajab — a month of purification, self-building, munājāt, and forgiveness. Just as the spring season marks the regrowth of the plants, the month of Rajab marks the renewal of a person’s soul and quest for union with Allah. In this month, we should seek to improve and elevate our spiritual standing by fasting, dedicating special time to connect with Allah, remembering Allah, reciting special duʿās, giving charity, connecting with the Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa), and embarking upon a journey of self-purification. I pray that we can all benefit from the blessings of this sacred month, which the Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa) referred to as aṣabb (effusion), because the divine mercy of Allah is pouring down incessantly during this month.
The Status of the Youth
Prophet Muḥammad (ṣ) has said:
Nothing in this world is more beloved to Allah than a youth who repents 1.
If a youth is upon the path of Allah, He opens His doors of mercy for this individual. After the Battle of Muʾtah, the Noble Prophet (ṣ) dispatched an army against the Romans to avenge the Muslims who were killed in the battle. Who did he choose as the commander of this army? None other than ʿUsāmah bin Zayd, an 18-year-old youth. When the Muslims contested this decision, asking how the Prophet (ṣ) could appoint such a young person to lead the entire army, the Prophet (ṣ) retorted beautifully by saying that not just anyone should be given this position simply because they are older; rather, those who possess the necessary qualities should be given this position, regardless of their age. Usāmah, despite only being 18 years old, had all the qualities, which earned him the esteemed position of commander.
Our youth have amazing potential and energy. If they are able to dedicate this energy, passion, and talent toward learning and promoting the cause of Allah, this will have a great impact on the future Muslim ummah, and they, too, can earn an esteemed status in the eyes of Allah.
Challenges Facing the Youth
Living in North America, our Muslim youth are given many opportunities and avenues to increase their potential and seek greater education, but this also comes with some challenges. They face issues such as Muslim identity crises and depression, especially when they are put in stressful positions where they feel isolated or face temptations that counter their core beliefs. In order to help our youth, we must focus on their psychosocial wellbeing, which is not limited to physical fitness, but also comprises their mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing. This psychosocial wellbeing cannot be sustained by only one person swimming against the current. Rather, we must have a system and organization in place whereby we can meet the social needs of our youth, help them to embrace their identities in a positive manner, and empower them to carry the flag as the ambassadors of the Qurʾān and Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa).
Brothers and sisters, please be warned that my intentions are not for us to box ourselves or for the Shīʿah youth to isolate themselves. Rather, I am encouraging ABSA Network to be a platform to give the Shīʿah youth a voice whereby they can advocate for unity and bring awareness. ABSA Network should aim to unite with the MSAs by focusing on common goals and challenges. Together, ABSA Network and MSA should hold events focusing on common causes, such as advocating for Palestine, addressing challenges that Muslim youth face, and building a connection to Allah. By building a strong network, the Muslims will be able to thrive throughout the different college and university campuses.
The Goal and Mission of ABSA Network
It is the fundamental goal of ABSA Network to provide every youth, especially the Shīʿah youth, with the platform to practice their faith in a safe environment in their respective universities and to facilitate opportunities for their spiritual, emotional, and academic growth.
ABSA Network seeks to create the momentum in our youth to tackle the challenges they face by holding uplifting programs and spreading awareness. Universities and colleges are the best places to change the misperceptions and misunderstandings held by the general population through dialogue and increased awareness. The Shīʿah voice is often neglected or ignored because there is no organization that gives it a good platform. InshāʾAllāh by establishing a good platform and support network, we can have a greater influence to increase the spiritual well being of our society.
With Duʿās, Nabi Raza Mir (Abidi)