Br Sohail Mohammad

Br Sohail Mohammad

Assalamu ’Alaykum.

My name is Sohail Mohammad & I am running for the position of Shura member at IACC. I graduated with my B.S. Degree in Cognitive Science in May of 2021, and I currently work as a Software Engineer at Jack Henry. I’ve been an active part of the IACC community since moving to Plano in the 8th grade, almost eleven years now. Soon after, I joined the Youth Committee where I served as a member for three years before moving into a leadership position in 2018. As chair of the Youth Committee, I was responsible for curating and executing events with our team, ensuring effective marketing strategies are utilized, and cultivating an environment of community among the youth. I’ve also served in Alif Laam Meem as National Director of Programs & Branding, working with chapters across the nation to foster brotherhood in a time of immense isolation at the beginning of 2020. Additionally, I’ve taken courses in the Marifa program as a student of Sheikh Arsalan, as well as the Seerah Intensive at Qalam. I firmly believe that making decisions in the shura should always be reflective of the tenets of Islam and the ways shown to us by our Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

My background sets me up uniquely for a position on Shura, as I’ve lived through and served within the varying demographics of youth in our community. An issue we face is placing too broad of a label on the youth, not taking into account the varying degrees of uniqueness every age group provides, through their interests, academic pursuits, and levels of attachment to the masjid. We all unite under the banner of Islam and pray next to one another at IACC, but how many of us know what they’re really struggling with? Who better to turn to for insight into the future leaders of our community than these same young adults? This leads me to my primary purpose in running for Shura: to empower our youth and make their voices heard, if not *deafening*. As a masjid, we must invest our time, energy, and intellect into shaping this group so that they’re adequately equipped with leadership and community-building skills. It’s also essential for us, as youth, to feel heard, loved, and acknowledged. Part of acknowledging is recognizing the importance of curiosity and, for lack of a better term, *fun*. Engaging with and increasing the involvement of adolescents, teenagers, young adults, and working professionals in *our* masjid starts with developing a culture of love and open arms, catering to each of their individual wants and needs, in ways that they feel would be most valuable. An example of how we could build this is through biweekly discussions paired with an activity, to stimulate the intellect, body, *and* soul, essentially bringing back the classic youth group meetings.

This is a pitch not only for the youth and working professionals of our community but also to the parents and our respected elders. Whether you have children or not, you were also once a youth. And although the environment and accessibility to resources have changed drastically even in the last decade, the curiosity and excitement of a young child is still the same. It’s our duty and responsibility to fulfill the right the youth of our community have upon us, and learn from them how we can best provide them the knowledge, skills, and opportunities for the curiosity they need, not to speculate and assume without their own input.