The Prophet Was Only Sent to Perfect Noble Character (Gems by Ustadh Usama Canon)

I heard a beautiful lecture through the Yale MSA yesterday that was filled with wonderful reminders about leadership, being a positive contributor to the world, recognizing one’s attachment to the world, having good manners and so much more. Thanks to the Yale MSA for uploading the video of this beautiful talk and making it accessible to a wider audience. My notes are brief as the stories can only be done justice by hearing the lecture on one’s own. 

  • When we talk about spiritual leadership, need to revisit and understand your role as khalifa, as steward of God and the earth.
  •  It’s about understanding I’m not here just for the heck of it, and I’m also not here to consume, also not here just to make money, also not here just to procreate, but I’m here for a reason, for a purpose, and I’m here on behalf of somebody, and the One that I’m here on behalf of determines the greatness of my vicegerency, the greatness of my stewardship. And that is on behalf of All Mighty God.
  • Each of us is a leader in some regard, at least as it relates to our own soul. And this is scary but this is also really exciting.
  • The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said there are seven people shaded on the Day of Judgement. The first one is a just leader, or a just ruler, depending on how you look at the word. The commentators say this applies to everybody who is an imam in any regard. Doesn’t mean have to be in role of religious authority, but leaders.
  • When you get married and have kids, need to think about the fact that spiritual leadership is not just exported to the masjid.
  •  Be careful of the life you lead, you may be the only book some people read.
  • What is spirituality? The people of our tradition say someone who has increased you in good manners has increased you in spirituality.
  • The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him was sent to perfect noble character.
  • Spirituality can be having really good manners.
  • Imam Zaid – if he’s by himself, he’s reading Qur’an and doing dhikr. Story of Imam Zaid spending three times as much time as it took to make wudu, wiping the floor so that there isn’t a mess for the workers at convention centre. That’s spirituality.
  • Some of us have never seen a scholar make wudu. If you have a chance you should, because you might look and realize haven’t been doing it right my whole life.
  • How many of us have read Islam and the Black American? How many of us have read Roots? The Autobiography of Malcolm X? Need to realize that where we are is because of the sacrifices of other people.
  • The only way to make it is to be in good company, with people who are more advanced than you. Have to be around elders and mentors. It’s the same way we make strides in other parts of our life as well.
  • Be mirrors of his beautiful light.
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