Had the opportunity to be a part of some blessed gatherings in the last few weeks and months alhumdulillah.
Sh. Abu Bakr al Shatry: He reminded us about the importance of husn adh-dhann, having a good opinion of Allah in every situation and circumstance. He shared a story of a man who lost all of his wealth in an instant, but instead of falling into a state of despair, the man thought to himself .. I came into this world with nothing, and I will leave with nothing. Just as Allah cared for me and nourished me from the day I was born, Allah will continue to do so till the day I day. Great reminder for anyone who is preoccupied with worries about rizq. He also reminded us of the importance of the morning and evening adhkaar and warned us to never miss these valuable times to remember Allah.
Sh. Waleed Basyouni: In his course, Fiqh of Du’a and Dhikr, one of the greatest takeaways was that if anything in our life starts to take more time and energy from us compared to our worship and remembrance of Allah, it will eventually become a source of torment in our lives. So if our work, family, education, entertainment, etc. etc. starts to become a priority over Allah and His Messenger (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), and we do nothing to change that, it’s only a matter of time before that very thing we loved and prayed for at one point, will become a source of hardship and dissatisfaction for us. The example given was that of a tree that leans towards one side so much so that it can no longer remain upright. For our lives to be balanced and meaningful, Allah and His Messenger (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) need to be at the center and the guiding factor in every decision we make.
Sh. AbdulBary Yahya: He took us through an incredible journey through the life of our Messenger (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Salawat went up ten-fold after this class and I realized I need to set out a time just to make Salawat. With almost every story he shared, I had a flashback of Abbu sharing the same exact story during ta’leem. On my morning commute, I’ve organized it so the drive from my house to the beltway is only salwaat, and then the remaining commute is the rest of the adkhaar. This class brought me to sustained tears on several occasions .. the hardships of the early companions, the Prophet’s humility and resilience, the difficult battles, the unshakable iman our pious predecessors had, the encouraging words of Khadija (radhiAllahu ‘anha) at the start of Prophethood. And of course, the end of his life, salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. I’ve heard the ending so many times, but as any Muslim can tell you, the emotions never fade.
Sh. Ahsan Hanif: One of my all-time favorite Al Maghrib instructors visited Nurayn last week. I have not taken a single class with him because he teaches in UK but I’ve heard many of his talks and subhanAllah, there’s something very special about his delivery and knowledge. He presents knowledge with such clarity and wisdom and it reaches the heart. He talked about the end of time and the trials that are to come. One of the trials he mentioned was that of knowledge and how we would come to a time (many would argue we are facing this today) when people will be more educated and literacy would be widespread but the people will lack true knowledge. Many of our ancestors did not have the degrees we have today and perhaps were not even literate, but they had knowledge and wisdom which we lack today. He also talked about the problems we have with haram wealth where people are acquiring wealth through incorrect means or are not truthful in their businesses, and therefore, feed their families with haram. As a result, the barakah from the wealth seeps out and we feel we are exhausting ourselves in work but there is minimal benefit from that wealth. May Allah protect us from haram rizq. He talked briefly about the anti-christ and some of the major trials that are yet to come.
I read once that for blessings to be present in our lives, we should be present in blessed gatherings. Trying to make that a frequent reality in my life bi’ithnillah. It’s as though every time I participate in sessions like these, my soul rises again. This life is truly a prison in so many ways. It’s a slow depression, but there’s such a firm foundation of truth and hope in our deen to ever get one down for too long. That is, if our hearts and minds are open of course.