Love is the Fertile Ground from Which Mercy Emerges (Gems from the 2010 Celebrate Mercy Broadcast

  • Respect women as soulful equals (Shaykh Abdullah Adhami)
  • Increase in compassionate acts towards others in order to build trust. Build trust and compassion in your life this year, and then the next year (Imam Afroz Ali)
  • Never in anyone who walked the earth has there been a heart that is so soft and yet so brave, peace and blessings be upon him (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)
  • We are literally drowning in blessings.
  • Soundness of faith is on strength of attachment. Strengthening of the heart is in reminders and frequent remembering.
  • When love something/someone a lot, you make mention of them a lot.
  • Strive to show mercy and compassion to all those around you. Forbearance, generosity.
  • Mercy is the foundation of all relationships. Love is the fertile ground from which mercy emerges. Let us revive mercy in our marriages.  (Imam Zaid Shakir)
  • In our world, love is not always reciprocal, but with the Divine, always reciprocal. Let us love the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Let us love God, let that love translate into mercy that touches people’s lives in deep and meaningful ways and translates into obedience.
  • Gratitude means that we use blessings in way that they were created.
  • Let those who possess this love not be stingy.. Bring it to the marketplace, the workplace, the home. My heart holds your love, my tongue offers blessings, but my limbs often fall short.”  (Sidi Haroon Sellers)
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Your Perceptions Define Your Experiences (Gems from Soul Food with Ustadh Amjad Tarsin)

The Muslim Chaplaincy at U of T runs an amazing weekly discussion circle called Soul Food.  Below are notes from one of the sessions this term. Alhamdullilah for spaces to grow and learn with others!

  • A true sense of hope is hoping for God’s mercy and working for it.
  • When you see a sunset, why do you enjoy it? When you’re with family, what is your response? The response should be thankfulness
  • Take advantage of every moment as an advantage of drawing close to God. We are sowing seeds for the akhira (afterlife)
  • What is your purpose? Tip: Spend 5 minutes at the end of the day and sit and reflect. Engage in dhikr and quiet. 
  • Death is around the corner. Allah and eternal bliss is what we should strive for. Death gives you immediacy. Contemplating death allows you to ask the question, where am I going? I’m going somewhere based on what I do here. How do I achieve the goals I have in the best way possible?
  • Don’t be attached to results, be attached to God.
  • Companions weren’t morbid, they were content with death. Natural to have a fear of the unknown but if have yaqeen, better able to handle things.
  • Is what I’m doing, what I’m intending, something I will be glad that I did?
  • Seek greater goals. Then everything you do becomes an act of worship.
  • A righteous person, funeral is like a wedding. Your perceptions define your experiences.
  • Really important to reflect on life. Where are you going? What are we attached to? What are our lives about? People who have a strong sense of this strive to do the most amount of good. Their hearts are full of the things that really matter.
  • As attachments to the world decrease, arguments, grudges, backbiting decrease.
  • We shouldn’t be small minded people, we should look at the big picture.
  • We tend to have shallow communications. We hang out with people, but don’t have deep communications. 
  • Chicken soup to a neighbour, the greatest act to change the world. Mutual acts of caring performed often forge a sense of belonging. Try to reignite the role of neighbours.

 

The Divine Wisdom of Green and Environmental Stewardship (Gems from Ustadh Amjad Tarsin at ISNA Canada)

 On the 2nd day of the ISNA Canada Convention, we were blessed with a wonderful lecture by Ustadh Amjad Tarsin that was a reminder to be people of gentleness who are embodiments of mercy on earth, and who understand that honouring the connection between ourselves and the rest of creation is an integral part of our faith, not simply a  ‘good thing to do.” Ustadh Amjad reminded us that our faith is one of mercy, and when we learn something that contradicts mercy, we need to re-evaluate our understanding of what we’re learning. He also told us beautiful stories of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and brought joy to our hearts by sharing how all of creation loves the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. This is more than just “community service” he told us, “All of creation deserves our respect and reverence because everything worships and praises its Lord.”

Finally, Ustadh Amjad ended his talk by giving us practical ways to become stewards of the earth, and his reminder to eat halal, good, wholesome, pure food is the one that resonated most with me. Ustadh Amjad’s lecture gave us practical ways to do this in our daily life. Notes from the lecture are below.

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On Social Media and Happy Marriages (Day 1 at the ISNA Canada Convention)

This past weekend ISNA Canada held their annual convention at the ISNA Canada Masjid in Mississauga. And despite my full intentions to get there on time, I got lost on the 1st Day of the Convention, and only reached the masjid near the end of Shaykh Ahmed Saad al-Azhari’s lecture on Surah Kahf. What I heard was excellent though, and a good reminder to critically evaluate one’s time and energy in virtual spaces, to strive to have consistent behaviour regardless of who you are interacting with, and to have patience with the learning process.

After Shaykh Ahmed Saad spoke, Dr. Altaf Hussain gave a lecture on creating happy marriages and living “happily ever after.” He spoke about the importance of resisting the urge to have an elaborate wedding, and to focus instead on how a couple will live their life together afterwards. Once married he said, we need to focus on stopping “micro-aggressions” before they create major problems in our relationships, and build partnerships where dua and praying together and for each other are at the core of one’s shared life. Finally, he also addressed and you could hear the seriousness, emphasis and frustration in his voice as he spoke, about the importance of remembering that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and Khadijah, may Allah be well pleased with her, had an age difference between them. As communities and families he said, we must stop assuming that women past a certain age/are older are unacceptable spouses. I stayed for that lecture as well before heading back downtown.

I was a bit shaken from getting lost and so my notes from the 1st day are very basic, but I’ve included them below. I’m not normally a conference -goer, but was really impressed by the quality of the ISNA Canada Convention. The volunteers were polite, there were so many families and young people in attendance, the bazaar was lovely, the masjid was beautiful, and throughout the whole event, you could tell that several months of planning and careful thought had gone into this weekend. Every lecture in the main hall had a sign language interpreter on stage to make the event more accessible, and the entire conference had a strong sustainability focus. Every registrant was given a refillable water bottle and there were no plastic water bottles sold at the conference alhamdullilah. May God bless and reward in the best of ways all those involved in this conference, and enable us to implement what we learned insha’Allah. It truly was a beneficial, needed weekend.

Accessible gatherings

Accessible gatherings

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What Happened to Poetry? (A Lecture by Shaykh Hamza)

  • I grew up hearing poetry, but didn’t appreciate it until I had a great teacher. And that happened in West Africa. Funny that an American with a father who had a great love of poetry, learnt to appreciate poetry hearing West Africans listen to poetry, recite poetry and be moved by poetry. And seeing their expressions when they hear a line. Troubadour is one that makes you delight in what he has to tell. (from Arabic word tarab)
  • If you ever had a teacher who taught you poetry in a real way, was probably one of the most profound class or experiences of your life. But very few of us are afforded the delight of having a great teacher. Most of us have to suffer the mediocrity of passionless people teach words that emanated from the hearts of deeply passionate people. Because what poetry is about is passion. And what’s forbidden in modern world is passion.
  • If think what is out there as mimicking passion has anything to do with real passion, then have been completely deluded. Really completely deluded.
  • One of the reasons that don’t teach poetry because poets aren’t melodramatic. And in world want people to think in melodramatic terms, don’t want people to understand the subtleties of the poet.

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A Primer on #Dua (Gems by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)

Several weeks ago, Shaykh Faraz had a series on Twitter about the etiquette of dua. Today, I was in need of this reminder and found my notes in my draft folder! The second part of the post is notes from a SeekersHub Global  answer to a question about delayed response to duas.

A Twitter Primer on Dua

  • Ask, don’t demand. And don’t fail to ask.
  •  Ask, keeping in mind the Prophet’s words ﷺ, “And each person shall have whatsoever they sought.”
  •  Ask in accordance with Allah’s Generosity and Mercy, not your worth (or perceived lack thereof).
  • Ask, for Everything.
  • Focus on the meanings of what you’re asking *before* you ask.
  • Magnify your neediness and expressiveness in dua by repeating your dua–three or more times. #sunna
  • Magnify your neediness, by calling on Allah by His Names. #YaHayyuYaQayyum #YaArhamArRahimin #YaLatifuYaKhabir
  • Allah’s Response is certain: when He wills, not when you wish; in the way He wills, not in the way you wish.
  • A sign of concern for others is praying regularly for them.
  • Key Adab of #Dua: Absolute certainty in Allah’s Response. “Call on Me: I will indeed answer you.”
  • Express concern for the Umma by a lot of dua–more effective than watching a lot of news.
  • The best words to call upon Allah with are the words His Beloved ﷺ used to call upon Him with.
  •  Ask Allah that you fulfill your duties of slavehood and His rights of Lordship.
  • The best of what you can seek in supplication is God Himself.
  • Levels of dua: (1) ask for your worldly needs; (2) express your neediness; (3) realize Allah’s Lordship and Attributed.
  • Duas aren’t demands. They’re expressions of need –and realizations of Divine Favour.
  • When Allah inspires you to ask, know that He has willed to give.” (Ibn Ata’illah)

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Exploring the Qur’an with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus (Class 7 Gems)

From the March 31st session.

  • The nafs is you. It’s your internal state.
  • Hawa is the entity in which the nafs manifests. Hawa is your internal inclinations, your desires.
  • True religion is about character, going against yourself.
  •  The more you pray, the more you’re around good people, the more you do dhikr, the more your desires begin to change. You will always have desires, but the idea is for your desires to confirm to sacred teachings. It’s so important to have environments that cultivate this.
  • First need to be able to govern our souls before we can lead anyone else.
  • Need to be aware of the politics of the soul.
  • Religion is beautiful, but not necessarily easy.
  • We have a faculty of anger and a faculty of desire – both relate to caprice.
  • While we are in this world, we’re supposed to know Allah in times of hardship and in times of ease. We are supposed to know Him in His Majestic manifestations and in His Beautiful manifestations.
  • We should never be embarrassed to ask Allah for anything, no matter how small. Even if it is for salt in the food, if our sandal strap breaks, for whatever it is, big or small, we should ask Allah.
  • Whenever we are in need, anytime we need help, we should turn to Allah.
  • Know your Lord in a state of prosperity so that He will know you in a state of difficulty.
  • Use good times of health to know Allah