Celebrating the People Behind ING

ing newsletter

Celebrating the People Behind ING in its First 20 Years

The making of an indigenous, grassroots,
community-supported organization

Join us at ING’s 20th anniversary event, not only to celebrate the accomplishments of an independent American Muslim non-profit organization that now has 22 affiliates across the country which duplicate its work, but also to recognize the people who made it possible as told below by the organization’s founder, Maha Elgenaidi: Click here for a personal narrative of the founding of ING

Many individuals have supported and assured the continuing success of ING over the last 20 years. In the prophetic tradition of giving thanks, we would like to voice our special appreciation to the following people for their extraordinary service and support for ING in its first 20 years. Their names are inscribed on a plaque that will hang on the walls of the ING office and be available for view at the ING Supporters’ Gala on April 20th.


The following individuals played a pivotal role in assuring a financial base for the fledgling organization during its earliest days in 1993-1995:

  • Idris Kothari
  • Saeed Kazmi
  • Saeed Raees
  • Zagloul Kadah

We also wish to recognize a group of supporters who were critical in the early years of ING in providing both physical and financial support, not only by helping us to fundraise in the early days but also by hosting and organizing fundraising events, sometimes in their own homes. These include the following individuals. May God infinitely reward them:

  • Neelam and Azmat Malik
  • Romana Khan and Shameem Usmani
  • Saira and Azmat Siddiqui
  • Samina and Umar Ahmed
  • Samira Mahmood

Of notable mention in later years are Nahid Aliniazee and Kamal Ahmed who not only provided financial support but also opened their home for ING on numerous occasions over the last five years. Both Nahid and Kamal also served as board members.We also want to recognize some of the most important scholars and imams who influenced us and ING’s work and provided a scholarly basis for ING’s content:

  • Imam Faheem Shuaibe
  • Sh. Hamza Yusuf
  • Dr. Ingrid Mattson
  • Sh. Mohammed Al Yacoubi
  • Dr. Sherman Jackson
  • Dr. Umar Faruq Abdullah

Additionally, the following activists and scholars provided a seminal foundation and guidance for ING’s speakers bureau programs and helped to expand them:

  • Anas Coburn, Dar al Islam
  • Dr. Andrew Kille, InterfaithSpace
  • Dr. Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center
  • Shabir Mansuri, Institute on Religion and Civic Values

While many individuals helped ING in its early days, there were a few organizations that supported us in the early days and helped to give a platform to ING. The following individuals were pivotal in garnering the support of the organizations with which they are affiliated:

  • Abdul Rahim Rydhan of the South Bay Islamic Association, which provided fiscal sponsorship to ING in 1993
  • Imam Abu Qadir Al Amin, San Francisco Muslim Community Center, the first spiritual home of the organization’s founder in 1992
  • Ahmed Taha, AMILA, who started the first Islamic Speakers Bureau with ING’s founder in 1993
  • Sr. Habibe Husain of Rahima Foundation, which provided material support to the founder in the early days of the organization
  • Marghoob & Iffat Quraishi, MYC, MSN, whose family and circle of friends were the founder’s first Muslim community

Pivotal to ING’s work of educating about Muslims and their faith in the context of America’s religious pluralism are the dedicated volunteer speakers who make up the Bay Area Islamic and Interfaith Speakers Bureaus. For the last 20 years ING speakers have volunteered their time to go to schools and universities across the Bay Area, often presenting to multiple classes throughout the day. While there have been many speakers throughout the last 20 years, these ING speakers were among the earliest volunteers in their respective programs, many of whom have continued to support or volunteer with ING until today. They include the following ING speakers:

  • Aisha Morgan
  • Amany Nasser
  • Ameena Jandali
  • Berget Jelane
  • Dianne Muller
  • Dick Heiman
  • Dr. Eli Taub
  • Esther Heller
  • Farhan Syed
  • Fouzi Husaini
  • Dr. Harry Cornbleet
  • Helena Miller-Fleig
  • Imran Maskatia
  • Ismael Nass
  • Jean Ramacciotti
  • Dr. JianHu Shifu
  • Joy Aspenall
  • Katharina Harlow
  • Nashwan Hamza
  • Nora Talebi
  • Reema Qadry
  • Dr. Sarah Azad
  • Dr. Sulochina Lulla
  • Tamer Abdel-Rahim

Just as a ship needs a crew to steer it, a competent board is essential to any well-run organization. ING has been blessed with many incredibly talented and accomplished board members through the many years, to whom we are greatly indebted. We want to voice our appreciation to all current and former members of ING’s board of trustees and board of directors who have provided governance, with special mention for the following individuals and couples who provided extraordinary support through their talents and special effort:

Early board members:

  • Douglas Kelley
  • Reshma Inamdar

Later board members:

  • Javed Ellahie
  • Zareen and Naeem Raza

Among these board members are philanthropists who, whenever we requested financial support, never turned us down! These include the following individuals:

  • Amer Haider and Munira Shamim
  • Faisal and Mona Haq
  • Javed and Shaheena Khan
  • Javed and Amena Patel
  • Raghib and Kanwal Hussain
  • Randy and Cindy Pond

Last, but certainly not least, are the people who help run ING – its dedicated staff members since we began hiring in 2000. Among ING’s former and current staff members who made significant contributions by their creativity and hard work, we would like to especially recognize the following people:

  • Ali Rangwala
  • Ameena Jandali
  • Ateka Ali
  • Bushra Khan
  • Deana Rabiah
  • Grace Fong
  • Dr. Henry Millstein
  • Kristy Coleman
  • Saba Siddiqui
  • Sadaf Siddiq

And consultants:

  • Chafeek Tomeh
  • Dustin Craun
  • Frankie Fredericks
  • Katherine L. Noverr
  • Tim Brauhn

To all of you, we will never forget your contributions. Your names and special contributions will be forever remembered on ING’s office walls. Thank you and may God reward you in your family and children.