Qiyaam Night Emphasizes 'Living with Purpose' For South Florida's Muslim Girls and Young Women
As the holy month of Ramadan continues for Muslims around the world, more than 150 girls and young women gathered this weekend at the Islamic Center of Greater Miami in Miami Gardens for the third annual, all-female Qiyaam Night.
The overnight event focused on bonding, creating sisterhood and exploring spirituality, while emphasizing the main theme of “Living with Purpose.”
Tehsin Siddiqui, Dr. Aisha Subhani and Neelam Mahmood were the event’s principal organizers.
“The whole month [of Ramadan] is about purification and kind of renewing yourself as a person and trying to become better, so the idea of the night is to be spiritually uplifting for the girls who are attending,” says Dr. Aisha Subhani. “It’s a lot of solidarity, sisterhood, sharing and trying to bring all those things together to become better.”
Subhani, an ER doctor at a medical center in Fort Lauderdale, explained that night prayer has a special significance in Islam as a way to become closer with God. She led the night’s opening discussion around 12:30 a.m. with a talk focused on Mary, mother of Jesus, and on Asiya, who rescued baby Moses from the Nile.
Afterward, the girls and young women broke into groups to discuss characteristics they looked up to in women: courage, steadfastness, honesty and patience.
The second discussion focused on faith and American identity.
“A lot of the youth we see here struggle now--especially with the political climate and with how things are--with who they are. A lot of them are even second-generation Americans, but there’s that kind of dual identity,” Mahmood said.
Qiyaam night provided a forum where they could open up about those struggles.
“I really like that they have like those sessions that you get to learn and feel comfortable,” said Kamar Ali, 10. “You got to share your expressions and your feelings.”
Over the course of the night, the girls and young womenlistened to stories, made crafts, took selfies and ate snacks.
Organizers say each year attendance has risen. Siddiqui said they plan to offer a regular women-focused youth group starting this summer.
Ramadan ends June 24.