Tufail Ahmad – Profile of a true Muslim
Congratulations to Mr.Tufail Ahmad on receiving the prestigious Roscoe R. Nix distinguished community leadership award of Montgomery County, a model county of harmony and co-existence in Maryland.
Rev. Mansfield “Kasey” Kaseman did a fabulous job in introducing Mr. Ahmad – he said Tufail represented what a Muslim is all about – compassionate, kind and caring individual.
In his acceptance speech, Tufail Ahmed’s mission came through, he said, “The best way to change the perceptions about Muslims is through actions, actions that benefit humanity, all humanity.”
Michelle Freeman, one of the sponsors, shared a powerful idea – Sadaqa (The word for Charity in both Islam and Judaism) should be anonymously given. Indeed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had said what the right hand gives left hand should not know – simply meaning, don’t let the beneficiary feel like a ‘receiver’ and make him/her ‘indebted’ to you. Let people be free.
This is what being a Muslim is all about: serving fellow humans; to feed the hungry, clothe the less fortunate and give shelter to the homeless. Quran says, (55:8-13) God created the universe in balance and harmony, and whenever that balance goes off, all HE wants from humans is to restore that harmony. That is all that God wills. I am pleased to paraphrase Rabbi Hillel, “This is the whole Quran, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it.”
Thanks to the County Executive Ike Leggett for instituting the award and recognizing outstanding people who serve the communities. Good people don’t need recognition, but when they are identified, they become inspirations for others and that is how better societies are built. As a Pluralist Muslim, I appreciate the Montgomery County.
The Program Brochure reads,
“Tufail Ahmad’s commitment to engage his community and establish trust and understanding across lines of difference has helped us build a vibrant multicultural Montgomery County. By recruiting volunteers and raising funds through the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation, Mr. Ahmad has served our neighbors regardless of faith, race, or gender.
In presenting the Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Award, County Executive Ike Leggett said: “Tufail Ahmad’s story is the Montgomery County Story. He brought his family here, created a successful business, and gave back.”
We congratulate all the awardees, each one of them has worked hard to make the world a better place and they are: Jane Callen – Volunteer of the year, Esmirna Campusano – Youth Volunteer of the year, Comfort Cases – Volunteer Group of the year (This man brought tears in my eyes, he came out of Foster care and had dedicated his work for Children who are in foster care and provided them a simple case to carry their stuff), Apex home Loans – Business volunteer of the year. The Second set of the awards were Neal Potter path of Achievement Awards for Sharyn Duffin and Chih-Hsiang Li. The Roscoe Nix awards went to Tufail Ahmad, Brian Frosh and Linda Plummer. Congratulations ya’ll.
Rev. Mansfield “Kasey” Kaseman’s powerful introduction of Tufail Ahmad
MONTGOMERY SERVES AWARDS
One-Minute Introduction of Tufail Ahmad
Rev. Mansfield “Kasey” Kaseman
April 23, 2018
My friend, Tufail Ahmad, is not exactly like the heroic Robin Hood, because he takes from his own people. He takes their money, hundreds of thousands of dollars; he takes food by the ton, clothing by the carload and organizes volunteers to give it away. He doesn’t care about their faith or ethnicity or race. His only criteria is do they need it?
Tufail Ahmad is also like Roscoe Nix. Regardless of the abuse, prejudicial comments and actions directed at his community, he always greets you with a smile and an outstretched hand.
You quickly recognize this man is bright, focused and organized. He does not waste a lunch or even a phone call without asking you for something he knows you can deliver.
You want to deliver it because Tufail has the heart and soul of a Muslim. He is a merciful, compassionate and charitable man living out the tenants and spirit of his faith.
Subsequently, it’s natural for him to be working with kindred spirits in all faith traditions and no faith tradition creating a more welcoming, inclusive, resilient, just and peaceful Montgomery County.
We will learn more about this remarkable Montgomery County hero viewing this video.
Rev. Mansfield Kasem’s introduction video: https://youtu.be/7Q6fO0oXcgY
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Indeed, at the Center for Pluralism, we have two annual awards – The Pluralist Award has been established in 1996 for the individuals who serve fellow beings with prejudice towards none. The last of such awards are in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H9V0h7Jr_M&t=22s.
The American Amin Award is for Muslims who represent the character of the Prophet (not the symbolic things like the beard or Hijab) and who cares for humanity and can always expect kindness, justice from them and feel secure. https://worldmuslimcongress.org/awards-the-american-amin-awards/
Michelle Freeman’s speech reminded me of this story. Mr. DD Maini, my friend, shared a good story about Sadaka – One Abdul Rahim Khan in the 16th century was noted for his giving, no one that came to his home went empty-handed. However, everyone was surprised and could not understand why he lowered his head while he was giving. A few men went to Tulsidas and asked him to explain why Rahim dropped his head when he gave? So Tulsidas wrote a Doha (couplet) asking Rahim to explain. Rahim responded with his Doha – “ I lower my head out of humility because I was not the giver, God was the one who gave me, and I was merely passing it along. I felt embarrassed when people thanked me and thus, I lowered my head.
Why dole you alms in this form? where did you learn such ways?
That as you raise your arms to give, so you lower your gaze.
The real giver is someone else, who doles day and night
As people mistake me for him, so I lower my sight.
–Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana
aisi daini daen jiyun, kit sikhe ho sain
(this giving give-you when, where learnt have friend)
jyun jyun kar unchyon kare, tyun tyun niche naen
(As As arm raise do, so so lower eyes)
daenhar koyi aur hai, bejat jo din raen
(giver someone else is, gives who day night)
log baram hum par kare, tase niche naen
(people mistake me on-it do, so-why lowered eyes)
Abdul Rahim Khan-e-Khana (1556-1626) – a poet/courtier who served Akbar, the Great Mughal emperor, as one of his Navratans (Nine Gems; persons of great esteem in the court, ranging from scholars to philosophers to poets and musicians) – was renowned throughout the realm for his generosity, and was reputed to avert his eyes from humility while giving alms.
Anecdotally, Sant Tulsidas (b. either 1497 or 1532- d. 1623) – one of India’s greatest and most revered poets- upon hearing of this spoke the verses containing the question; to which Khan-e-Khana admirably replied in kind.
Mr. Tufail Ahmad, we applaud your leadership and being a role model for the community.
Please share information about such exemplary Muslims in the United States; we will profile them here at www.WorldMuslimCongress.org and the ones who are non-Muslims, we will profile them at the Center for Pluralism, both organizations committed to building cohesive societies.
God bless all the volunteers and God bless America.
Mike Ghouse is the president of Center for Pluralism and Research director at World Muslim Congress; he is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions.