Reviving the Islamic Spirit Day 1: Part 1 (I arrive in Toronto)

Salaams and greetings from the land of jewels and blessings..Toronto! It’s very late and I’m finally back in my room after the most long, tiring and unusual day possible, so  please forgive my scattered thoughts! Before some serious rest though, let me share more about my first day here..

At 4 am I was up and awake for my early flight out of Toronto (strange how for a flight or something specific my eyes open automatically, but difficult to let go of the comforter when its time for tahujjud!) and after madcap airport adventures (every part of me set off the security bells and nobody could figure out what was triggering the sensors) + a sudden gate change to the other side of the airport, I finally made it on the plane.  The flight attendants did a very entertaining version of the safety instructions in the style of the 12 days of Christmas, and I sat next to a lovely couple going to visit their children. We chatted about RIS,  had a cool discussion about  how Isa alayhis salaam (Jesus) is a much loved and respected Prophet in Islam and spoke about Yusuf Islam.  And in between our brief conversations, I listened to the Melvidi Sherif podcast from Cambridge Khutbahs, and truly, truly, hearing Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad sing  “Ya Nabi Salaam Alayka” and other beautiful favourites was the perfect thing to get me into the conference spirit. So all in all, the conversations and songs and salawat made for a wonderful Jumu’ah!

And yet, despite the anticipation it took a while to get to the conference. The flight was delayed because of winds,the airport coach didn’t quite go to my hotel and in the pouring rain and strong winds, I had an dreadful time lugging my luggage to the hotel. But thankfully (!)around 6:30pm I was safely in the hotel. By that point, after so many hours and missed meals, I was so eager to wash my face that when the zipper of a pouch I was trying to open refused to budge, I just cut the bag open.

And afterwards, I had to think seriously.. that was just one day of missed sleep and food and weather conditions. Nothing terribly serious. On the Rihla, Shaykh Abdullah al Kadi’s taught us about the Prophet’s hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madinah and the difficulties of that journey,  as well as the high spirits and trust they had in throughout it all. There are lots of lessons we can take away from that experience, and I’ve definitely got a long way to go on the non agitation front.

And as the familiar hadith tells,us actions are ony according to intentions, and to each only what they intended. Insha’Allah the intentions behind this trip are good, and these intentions bear fruit. =) Stories later about the rest of the day…it definitely has been an interesting convention experience so far..

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