So this post will summarize the various MSA events we put on this semester. I’ll try to go in order if I remember them correctly.
Better Than a Thousand Months
As you can probably guess by the name, this event was about the virtues of Laylatul Qadr. The speaker was fantastic and the food was great! :) We did this event on the third Iftar night and co-sponsored with the PSA. Attendance <100
We had about 9-10 non-Muslims come for Iftar alhumdulillah. The speaker talked about Tawheed and and tolerance in Islam. For each non-Muslim who fasted, a donor offered to give a certain amount to the cause we chose. The sisters wore green hijabs in support of Pakistan and the donations went to the flood victims. Attendance <170
A-mazing! We had cotton candy machines, snow cones, wii, great Bahraini food, MSA hoodies on sale, and lots of new faces. Attendance <200
‘Come to Prayer, Come to Success’
This event was fiqh related. One of our local Imams came to speak about Salah/Wudhu and it’s arkaan across the madhahibs. Kind of like a mini Divine Link class. We went over time just a little because people had soooo many questions but alhumdulillah, most of them got answered. And the best part was that he clarified why women do not lead jama’ah in the Hanafi madhab. :) Attendance <200
Sisters’ Ice Cream Social
So my job this year was to organize fun events for sisters on campus and for my first one, I decided to do an ice cream social. Alhumdulillah it was huggeee hit. Approximately 80 sisters came, most of whom I met for the first time. We did lots of ice breakers and games to get people talking :) Our toppings bar:
Science, Medicine, and the Muslim Faith
This event was really interesting. The MSA outreach committee collaborated with the Pre-med Honor society to put on an event exploring the Islamic perspective on different issues relating to Medical ethics (abortion, contraception, organ donation, etc.) The speakers were very well educated and although there were certainly differences of opinion, everyone left with a much better grasp of Islam’s stance on newer scientific issues. Many non-Muslim med students came to the event which is great because in my humble opinion, cultural competence is one of the things Medical professionals really need to work on.
Best.Event.Of.The.Semester! Hands down, alhumdulillah. We had Br. Yusha Evans come speak about the topic of Muslim Identity. At first, I wasn’t really sure how he would approach the topic but I was amazed at his explanation that our identity should always go back to that of Rasulullah (SalAllahu ‘Alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them). A brother kindly offered to record the event free of charge so you can watch it here inshaAllah. There were definitely some tear-jerking moments so have tissues near by ;)
Change From Within
This was the second event the MSA outreach committee put on, definitely among my favorite events. It focussed on the serious problem of domestic violence in the Muslim community and how to tackle the issue at its roots. As much as I expected the outcome to be what it was, I was so saddened that there were only 7-10 brothers and over 60 sisters at this event. And SubhanAllah, the brothers who did come were not the ones who needed to hear what was said, as they were mostly MSA bros anyway. Khair, the speaker was WONDERFUL! And she was a social worker which made it even better. :) Her evidences were clear and concise and I loved her emphasis on early childhood development/parenting. One of the issues that was brought up was the problem of stalking on campus. We’ve had about 5-7 accounts of serious stalking of Muslim sisters on our campus this semester, me being one of them unfortunately so it was definitely something that had to be talked about. Sadly, the stalkers were all Muslim brothers with noble intentions but their methods will most likely get them in serious trouble if they continue following/calling/incessantly asking about..sisters who have no interest in them whatsoever. One sister asked what we should do when we’re at campus late and do not want to walk to our car alone, is it permissible to have a brother(s) walk ahead. The speaker agreed that it is important for Muslim brothers and Sisters to help and support each other but the danger of khalwa is always present and none of us are immune to the tricks of Shaytan so its best to either leave early or walk with a group of sisters. Alhumdulillah, my situation never reached a point where I was afraid to drive home but its definitely safer to walk with a pack. The wolf eats from the stray sheep.
Purification of the Soul
For my second Sisters’ event, I did a lecture about Tazkiyyatun Nafs with a female scholar in our community. The girls loved the event alhumdulillah. I had a number of ideas for lecture topics such as Lessons from Surah Mujadilah, Daughters of the Prophet (S), Women: The Backbones of Families and Societies, Stories of Sahabiyaat (ra) but I noticed that forgiveness was something a lot of sisters were having trouble with. Also, with the whole gossip problem, I think sisters’ are more in need of reminders for the heart to keep us from falling deeper into sins we may commit unknowingly. May Allah protect us. We had about 50 sisters at the event…and lots of sweets. :)
For our final major event of the semester, we did a lecture on ‘Esa (AS) and had Sh. Yusuf Estes come. MashaAllah this event was packed! I would say about 400-500 people filled the hall. Although the talk was a little scattered, I definitely felt the audience enjoyed it very much and a lot of students from other faith groups on campus came out as well. We had three people take their shahadah with Sh. Yusuf. One brother came all the way from MD to see him and he accepted Islam that night. It was beautiful =)
This was another event we co-sponsored with the PSA. I really wanted to attend in between my class but as soon as I walked in, my professor said “Today I will be lecturing for the entire three hours” -_- joy. So I had to miss the event but I heard it was A-mazing alhumdulillah. The speaker talked about the reality of this life and spoke a lot about the hereafter.
For my last sisters’ event, I decided to do a Destress before Finals. Girls love an open room with food, friends, and games. We had wii, raffles, goody bags with du’a cards attached, cookies, pizza, nasheed chairs, scrapbooking, and lots of junk food. Ayesha and I really enjoyed putting this event together even though it was the most time consuming of all the events we worked on.
Stories of the Prophets
For our weekly class, we had one of our local Imams come talk about a Prophet every week or so. Again, I wasn’t able to attend these cuz of class but my sister said she enjoyed the talks and answering questions. We streamed these online for students who couldn’t attend. I’m hoping we can do an Usool al Fiqh or Da’wah Skills class next semester inshaAllah.
We also had da’wah kiosks every week where we’d give people a free cupcake if they filled out a survey about Islam. The survey questions were pretty basic but it was good because when they got answers wrong, we took the time to explain the correct answer to them and offer them some Islamic literature and free pamphlets. We usually had sisters run the kiosk for 2 hours and the brothers took over after Maghrib so it worked well. I think we need new material though cuz some of it is dated.
The brothers also had about 4 events this semester where they went out and did stuff lol. I can’t really attest to how great these were cuz I wasn’t there but I’m sure they had a good time. :)
Alhumdulillah, we’ve had a phenomenal first semester and I can’t wait for what’s ahead inshaAllah. I pray that Allah accepts anything and everything we have done for the Muslim community on campus and may He ‘azzawajal continue to put barakah in our efforts. I know a lot of people have negative thoughts about college MSA’s sometimes and I can’t say I disagree with them completely, but subhanAllah, I feel so blessed to have been on the MSA this year. Yes, you do have to be extremely careful about what you say and do around the people you work with but being in that position makes you much more aware of your inner self. Besides MSA, I’m on board for a couple other orgs. as well and I can’t say how much I appreciate how purposeful our MSA is. It’s all about getting the job done and working with 5-6 other people to execute the entire project/event. There’s really not much excessive talk unless you yourself get too comfortable with people. Alhumdulillah, it’s been a great learning experience so far and I’m super excited for next semester. InshaAllah, it goes well. :)
p.s.: Please make du’a we can get Br. Wisam to come speak inshaAllah. I was so tempted to ask him if he could during his tajweed class in MD last month but I couldn’t =/ so hopefully he replies to our emails inshaAllah. :)