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.
Today I heard a wonderful lecture by Ustadh Usama Canon filled with real reminders and practical advice on how to understand the events of your life. My notes are brief (it’s a lecture that should be experienced on its own) and I’m posting it here as a reminder to myself first and foremost. To support Taleef Collective, where Ustadh Usama teaches, please see here)
- Like all of you I’m on a journey. I’m on a journey to try and know myself, understand the world around me and through that to understand reality and my Creator. And everybody’s journey is different.
- Before the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him prays for anything, he affirms Allah’s reality. See this in the dua of Taif. When you say to someone who is generous that they are generous, you are asking them for something. When you mention to someone that the gift they gave you is really nice, you’re asking them for another gift.
The Taleef Collective is a space in Fremont, California that offers the space, content and companionship necessary for a healthy understanding, embrace and realization of Islam. I’ve been following their Video Reflections for a while now, and each one offers food for thought, reflection, and discussion with others. Earlier this week, I discovered the multimedia section on their website and heard a beautiful lecture on modesty that was both full of important reminders, and made me even more excited for “Taleef Live!” a project to make Taleef’s weekly, monthly and quarterly programs accessible worldwide through Live-Streaming. To help make this project a reality, please see here, and give generously.
On Modesty – Ustadh Usama Canon
Two things become incumbent on you when you learn something.
1) Incumbent that you implement it. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said. “Whoever acts according to what they know, Allah will give them knowledge of that which they did not know.” And he, peace and blessings be upon him, sought refuge from Allah from knowledge that did not benefit. So if you learn something and do not implement, that is knowledge that will not be of any benefit.
2) Incumbent to teach other people. Disseminate and share with other people.
- Modesty: that’s a thesis topic, not a seminar.
- Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said that every religion has a defining quality, and the defining quality of my way is haya (modesty). So if something is the defining quality, what does it deserve in terms of time and what does it deserve in terms of reflection?
- The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is the pinnacle of altruism. He, peace and blessings be upon him, is the paragon of selflessness.
- He peace and blessings be upon him, is the imam of the people of mercy.
- He is the foremost of the people who have modesty.
- The thing with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is that any one of his attributes is enough for you to annihilate yourself trying to understand.
- So when you look at all of his attributes put together, and how they complement each other, it’s like any which way you turn, you’re like, Ya Rasullah! Look at this man. Look at his character. Sallallahu alayhi wasalaam.
- Main question we should be asking ourselves is when we say that we are following this man, how much work do we have to do?
- It’s an ongoing process, and it’s a lifelong journey. It’s not that you go to jummah, hear the khutba, and come out as sunna-man, or sunna sister.
- We don’t just become humble, we don’t just become sensitive, we don’t just become modest. It’s a process. Because any of the attributes of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would take a lifetime to gain the least bit of. So when we’re trying to implement all of them, how much work do we have to do?
- We have a lot of work to do. Sayyiduna Musa, alayhis salaam, just heard about the virtues of the Prophet’s, peace and blessings be upon him, community and was ready to forego his prophecy to be of his ummah, peace and blessings be upon him. Musa alayhis salaam. He keeps asking Allah, “who is that?”, and finally he said, make me of his community!
- May Allah make us more grateful. We have no reason to be cynical, Wallahi. We have no reason to be pessimistic except for our own shortcomings, wallahi. Alhamdullilah, Allah sent this light giving lamp amongst us, sallahu alayhi wasalaam.