2007 CONFERENCE REPORT
[61:4] GOD loves those who fight in His cause united in one column, like the bricks in one wall.
Praise be to God, the 22nd annual United Submitters International Conference was held at the Hilton Hotel in Ontario, California from July 27-29, 2007. With over 300 submitters attending, this was the largest conference ever. The focus of the conference was the strength of submitters uniting as the bricks in a wall. Each registered participant received, in their welcome packet, a sheet of paper designed to look like a brick wall, using the words from 61:4 to form the bricks, in which people signed their names, symbolizing that unity.
The Friday prayer was led by Peter from the Bay area. His wonderful khutba (sermon) reminded us to work at eliminating bad habits, and to stay away from the things that trigger unrighteous behavior, which is different for every person. Satan will always take advantage of our weak points. So we need to constantly implore God to keep us on the right path.
After Abdullah’s usual warm welcome, the conference began. We had a blend of speakers—first time conference-attendees, with their enthusiasm and new ideas, plus many returning speakers to share their experience. The talks were informative, fun, heartwarming and inspirational. The sharing of thoughts and ideas helps us all to grow in submission.
Saturday evening, there was a special concert called “Night of commemoration through music.” Many beautiful voices raised in glorification of God. It was a lovely way to remember and to praise Him.
When Sunday noon rolled around, it was hard to say goodbye. The picture session was very enthusiastic with joyful zikr as we hugged and bid farewell for another year.
May God bless the southern California volunteer submitters and all other submitters involved, for their hard work putting the conference together. The hotel was excellent—everyone was so friendly and helpful, and the food was wonderful. Thanks to Faiz, Kenan and Basma for their duties as emcees. They did a great job. Peace and blessings upon everyone who made the effort to attend—to share their ideas and absorb ideas from others. May God keep us united and at peace, and allow us to spread His message to the world.
God willing, next year’s conference is planned for Tucson, Arizona, the first weekend in August. Be sure to make your plans to attend. It’s a wonderful, powerful, fortifying experience for everyone. Praise be to God.
[18:28] You shall force yourself to be with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking Him alone. Do not turn your eyes away from them, seeking the vanities of this world.
[3:200] O you who believe, you shall be steadfast, you shall persevere, you shall be united, you shall observe GOD, that you may succeed.
Reflections From the Conference
As we began our drive home from the conference, we saw some of the young people from our group outside a nearby ice cream shop, lined up and ready to make their sunset prayer. Our hearts swelled by leaps and bounds at the mere sight of them and yet they were totally unaware of the spirit that they ignited just by gathering to pray. It was one of those subhan'Allah (glory be to God) forever moments and an apropos ending to a most excellent conference we had. And while it is a personal example, it epitomizes the real meaning of the conference.
God sees all that is done to make the conference possible – public or anonymous, great or simple, direct or indirect. For those that can see and learn from even some of these strivings toward gathering for God in peace and unity, it warms our souls with reassurance and renewal.
The annual conference is so much more than the speeches, presentations, and accommodations every year. Southern California volunteer submitters can probably attest to that after all the arrangements and organizing that they did to put this year’s conference together! The strength of a concerted and cumulative effort on behalf of many showed through, by God’s grace. But even those that attended the conference in Ontario – those who gathered together as true brothers and sisters in faith – shared in their offering of hope and show of support for one another. The prayers of those that wanted to attend, but couldn’t, were important and should be remembered also. All this combined striving for God and His cause made for a very enjoyable conference.
Each year, the conference is a refocusing of purpose and resolve to worship God alone and it helps us to find new direction in passing that message on to others. Like verse 52 in chapter 68, the Pen, tells us: “It is in fact a message to the world.” As our numbers grow and the message spreads, by God’s leave, the conference serves as a humbling and awesome reminder to the truth in this verse.
In the Southern California area and beyond, God bless all those that worked together in His cause for this year’s conference. Thank you for all your efforts. God willing, your examples and good works will spark, encourage, and foster the righteousness of submitters everywhere – even in ways you may be unaware of.
[17:19] As for those who choose the Hereafter as their priority, and work righteousness, while believing, their efforts will be appreciated.