2017-06-21, Muhammed Dawood and Sureyya Husain, Understanding Islam

President Christopher called the meeting to order at 12:12 pm. Earl Phillips led the invocation. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Sue Groth led the group in a rousing rendition of “Home on the Range.” Due to the length of the program, an enthusiastic wave replaced the traditional meet and greet.

Announcements & Happy Dollars

Richelle Ponder announced that “Taste of Las Cruces” netted approximately $13,000 in support of Casa de Peregrinos. She also shared that they have an opportunity to match these funds up to $20,000 from a grant from the Carl C. Anderson and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation of Austin, TX. She presented the idea that we should help Casa de Peregrinos reach the full match through a challenge to the Las Cruces Rotary clubs. The Board will discuss in a special meeting today.  The June can will go to support Casa de Peregrinos.  

After guests were introduced, happy dollars flowed freely– Patti Groth was happy for the icing at “Taste of Las Cruces”, Greg Fant was happy to have spent last week introducing his grandkids to Mickey Mouse, and John Hernandez was just happy to be here. Guest Rotarian, Laura Smart is happy to be an ambassador for the Pickle Ball Association, Daniel Payne is optimistic for next season’s Aggie football after talking with Coach Martin, and Jim Parks was happy that he and his college roommate were still alive 56 years after graduating. Jim Scott was happy for a family of Javelinas. (Does this mean BBQ?) Charles Townley was happy to earn his structural firefighter I designation, Les Smith just learned that he is going to be a great-grandfather, and Bill Harty is extremely happy for his wife’s birthday marking 20 years of being cancer free. 

The Program

Bob Seaton introduced Dr. Muhammed Dawood and Sureyya Husain who presented the program “Understanding Islam.” Las Cruces has approximately 600 citizens who practice the Muslim religion. Considering that we often fear those that we do not know or understand, Bob thought this was a good opportunity to better understand our neighbors. Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Dawood got his Ph.D. from the Univ. of Nebraska and was working in Indiana when the 9/11 attack happened. Because he was Muslim, many co-workers were asking him questions and he really did not have the answers. This motivated him to learn more about his Muslim faith by studying the Quran more than ever before in his life. Mrs. Husain is a bar certified lawyer and is currently the manager for her husband’s medical practice. Both described themselves as students of the Quran. Their presentation contained numerous quotes from the Quran that explained the basics of their faith.

A monotheistic religion, like Judaism and Christianity, the Muslim faith traces its beginnings to Ibraham (Abraham). Muslim’s recognize many of the same prophets that are found in the Bible but focus on the Prophet Muhammed who lived about 1400 years ago. “You become peaceful by submitting to God.” Their fundamental practices include: five daily prayers, Zakah (money for growth and welfare of mankind), fasting (Ramadan), and Haj, a pilgrimage to Mecca.

During the Q/A session, someone asked about the “100 virgins.” This is not in the Quran, rather the Quran talks about pure companions in paradise. Often extremists will extrapolate ideas that simply support their desires rather than closely following the Quran. Another person asked about the difference between the Shia and Sunni Muslims. This is basically a political split that occurred not long after the Prophet Mohammed’s death. Burkas were brought up as well. The practice of wearing these stems from a passage that tells women to “cover their beauty.” The practice varies widely depending on the country as well as size of the community. They are more common in smaller rural areas. The last question was about jihad. This was defined as “to do the utmost effort and struggle to achieve your goals.”  This idea has been adopted for fighting because there are passages that talk about fighting hard during times of oppression. 

After the Program

President Christopher shared an “eye catching” joke while Patti came up for the can report. $156 was raised today for Casa de Peregrinos making the monthly total $342. Down to the last seven cards, Steve Loman was selected to draw for the joker, alas he drew the four of clubs. The pot continues to grow. President Christopher closed the meeting with the four-way test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



June Briggs

Dinus Briggs

Kema Gomez

Bob Seaton

Kristen Gorbitz

Bob Seaton


Bob Seaton

Radway Jallad

Ted Shelton

Katelin Ponder

Richelle Ponder

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Lorenzo Alba

Mesilla Valley

Laura Smart

Rio Grande

Student Guests




it's summer!



Date Club




Submitted by Greg FantGreg Fant