Sunday, May 20, 2012

Topping it all off.

This blog cannot convey what I went through at class today. I talk about the transformative nature of each AlMaghrib class but this one was truly gut-wrenching, uplifting, terror-inducing, and redeeming all at the same time. Part of me wants to apologize to non-Muslim readers that today's post won't really have anything for you, and part of me wants to gather all of you in a room for a week to tell you what I have learned and explain this beautiful religion. Religion in the Western context isn't even a good word to use here—it's sullied by all kinds of disgusting acts from people of all faiths (including Islam).

Islam is a way of life. We say/hear that a lot but it is an important distinction. It answers the question I get from people when they ask "Do you really have to do that?" or "Why do/don't Muslims do this/that?" If people don't learn how to apply Islam to their way of life they won't know what to do or why they are doing it, much less be able to explain it to others. Which is why I insist on seeking as much knowledge as possible.

Please enjoy my two favorite photos of the week, celebrating normal Muslims making Islam normal:

I'm totally getting a bike. A cruiser like this one would be perfect.
His entire prayer took less time than the introduction of one speaker (There's a video on YouTube).

It gets a little more serious soon.

I'm not breaking this into exercise and Islam today because as you can imagine, today was a cookie-cutter copy of yesterday complete with picking up 6 dozen donuts and 40 lbs of ice at Cub Foods, then a long day of class, helping the food team at breaks, and walking to Chipotle again, etc. I did plenty of physical work but nothing you could truly call "exercise" for 20 minutes. That's fine. I didn't eat a donut so ALL IS FORGIVEN, right???

I want to post a whole bunch of tweets from class but I'm afraid it will seem like all we did was get little snippets of sayings and advice all weekend. It was so not that. It was a comprehensive course on how to truly examine yourself and your intentions plus how to avoid establishing destructive character flaws such as envy, greed, giving into your desires excessively, and others. Sounds a lot like the Seven Deadly Sins, right? Yeah, I guess.

But instead of just doom and gloom, we were also given some beautiful reminders of Allah's mercy and  the assistance that He's constantly offering us. There's way too much to list here and I'm so tapped out but I will drop a couple on you:

Whenever a person commits a sin, Allah (SWT) commands the angels to wait SIX hours before recording the sin. Really? That's a long time to let someone think about what they did and repent. What a deal!

The Prophet  said: “Every single day, the Angels make a supplication for those who give in charity.” Dude. That is major. Just getting people here to make dua'a for us is a huge blessing. But to think that all we have to do is give even just a dollar every day and the Angels will ask Allah to reward us? Oh, and if you don't have money, your smile, or good deed, or nice word also counts? Sign me up!!

We will see Allah's face in Paradise if we just work to achieve it. The video below may be a little heavy-duty for some of you, but it's very powerful. It's a reading of a part of Ibn al-Qayyim's (May Allah be pleased with him) book called "Haadi al-Arwaah". In it, he describes Paradise and talks about what it will be like to meet Allah (may we all be given this gift from the Merciful). There are a few typos but it's pretty close to the original book text. You can read the text here (about 2/3 down the page).

Thankfully the lights were off in class when this was played at the very end because every single one of us was crying, men and women. No, we're not crazy, just crazy about the idea of getting to go to such a place and meet our Creator. 

Alhamdulillah. All praise is due to Allah for giving me the chance to learn about the practices of the righteous predecessors in peace, and in such a large group. There are so many so-called "Muslim" countries where this would not be possible, where people literally risk their lives to pray in the masjid.

Ya Allah, free Syria from her oppressor and grant her people relief from their continuous pain! 


1 comment:

  1. ibn ul-Qayyim also said, "The keys to the life of the heart lie in reflecting upon the Quran, being humble before Allah in secret, and leaving sins", in the same book, masha'Allah. I was going to blog about it but will later, insha'Allah. I was thinking then, what the opposite would be, the death of the heart: forgetting the Quran, being proud (even before Allah because everything is before Allah), and remaining in sin. May Allah protect and guide us all to jannah insha'Allah.