RIS is the Best Convention in North America!

This post contains pictures of the RIS 2006 Convention, Concert and Knowledge Retreat, as well as some video clips of Imam Zaid Shakir, A’ashiq al Rasul, Ehab Tawfiq, Outlandish. I have also updated my personal unedited notes from the 2006 RIS Knowledge Retreat.

This was my second year in a row attending the annual Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention and based on my experience last year it only got better. Last year, you may have remember my post, Why RIS is better than ISNA or ICNA conventions well this year I am upgrading that statement to this: Reviving the Islamic Spirit is the best convention in North America!

I have been to ISNAs, ICNAs, MSA EZs, and I have heard about TDCs and MASs, but not a single organization can come close to RIS. There is a major difference between the organizer of RIS and the other conventions and conferences and that is the organizers of RIS (Spirit Works Inc.) are a group of young Muslim brothers and sisters who voluntarily put together RIS. ISNA hires people to organize there conventions. ICNA and MAS are Islamic organizations that have experience elders who have been organizing conventions for decades. Still with all of this, RIS is able to invite and bring real scholars like Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah to North America. They also almost were able to bring Habib Ali al Jafri, but his visa came late. He would still have been able to come, but he planned to go to hajj since the visa was late.

This was the 5th year of RIS and they have accomplished many things that no other convention or conference could have ever done. They brought Amr Khaled for the first time in North America. They brought Isam and Waqas from Outlandish for the first time in North America. Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah spoke to his largest crowd in North America at RIS.

Can anyone name any other Islamic event in North America that had Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, Dr. Abdul Hakim Jackson, Dr. Tareq Suwaidan, Amr Khaled, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Shaykh Muhammad alShareef, Shaykh Sulaiman Mulla, Shaykh Riyad ul Haq, Dr. Zakir Naik, Dr. Tariq Ramadan, Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick and others all at the same event? Think about that. SubhanAllah! May Allah (swt) reward all the organizers and volunteers for RIS! Ameen!

Not only do they bring world famous ‘ulema, but starting last year they developed the RIS Knowledge Retreat which lasts for 4 days during the week after the RIS convention with the scholars. This is the best part of RIS! I have learned so much at both knowledge retreats that it has increased my knowledge immensely.

Here is a diary of my 2006 RIS experience:

  • Friday Dec. 22, 2006
    • Didn’t go to the conference. My friends and I stopped off at Darul Uloom Madania in Buffalo to purchase some books.
    • Slept at my cousins house.
  • Saturday Dec. 23, 2006
    • Reached the conference and went to the Bazaar to meet family and friends. Saw Maniac Muslim and other MR fans (Shout out to the most energetic brother Zack!).
    • Went and listened to Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah translated by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Wallahi, Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah is a genius. I didn’t take notes during the convention, sorry. You can buy the lectures on the Revival Media site.
    • Went out for lunch with my cousins to get some Hakka Chicken! I was hungry so the food was amazing. “I feel like a Mexican.”
    • Came back and listened to Robert Fisk. Fisk owned the media and the way many newspapers word there articles. He was mocking how they twist the words to make it please there own views instead of saying the truth. He is a very smart man! I love his British accent.
    • Then came Imam Zaid and Imam Siraj. Imam Zaid exploded on the stage saying how we Muslims are so concerned about the East, when we have problems right here in the West. “You can’t fix the problems over there if it’s not working here.” Imam Siraj got really old, mashaAllah. He talked about how he got angry at a lady one time at the airport and the lady sent his luggage to another state. Now he is kind and patient no matter what. He said that we should observe this patience. It was amazing to be in the audience listening to these two speakers.
    • Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Rabbi Michael Lerner spoke. The Rabbi was kinda creepy to me, but he had some good points. He’s one of those Jews who supports Palestine and Israel and wants a peaceful two independent states. He said some things I didn’t agree with. Shaykh Hamza was the last speaker of the night before the concert and he did a very good job relating the way human beings treat animals and it’s relation to how human beings treat other human beings. He discussed how the sunnah places special concern for the animals and the environment and that it is lacked today.
    • RIS Concert
      • Noor – Nasheed group from California
        They were first up. They were okay. There songs have similar beats and they copy a lot of other people. There like the 786 boys, but Arab.
      • Hamza Robertson – UK singer
        When I first saw this guy come on stage, I was shocked. He looked straight up like a white boy singer from MTV. He can really sing, but his songs are too white for me. (I’m a former Hip Hop fanatic). He is a student of Sami Yusuf and Sami is quoted to be saying “He can sing better then me.”
      • Nazeel Azami – UK singer
        He’s the brown version of Sami Yusuf. That’s pretty much it.
      • A’ashiq al Rasul – UK nasheed group
        Wallahi, I love almost all there songs. They have amazing lyrics and beats. Sadly, they peformance was not good. The lead singer’s voice cracked. There songs are still mad good, mashaAllah! Check out the video below of them.
      • Ehab Tawfiq – Egyptian singer
        This guy has a PhD in music! Who does that?!? Anyways he can really sing mashaAllah. He barely moves his lips but the voice is perfect. He sang only nasheeds and none of his pop songs. Check out the video below of him.
      • Isam and Waqas from Outlandish
        ::screams like a girl:: and that’s all I have to say. (They were my favorite of the night) Check out the video below of them.
  • Sunday Dec. 24, 2006
    • Woke up and went to Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah’s session. Honestly, I can’t explain how good it was. You just had to be there.
    • Then I chilled in the bazaar for couple of hours. Bought some books, clothes and met random MR fans and MM fans.
    • I went to Red Lobster with my family. Amazing food! Thanks Aunty Naza!
    • Dr. Jackson owned the audience and made me fell pretty dumb in a good way. Haha!
    • Qari Sadaqat has amazing beautiful recitation. He was a student of Qari Abdul Basit. He sounds just like him too.
    • The final lecture that night was Imam Zaid Shakir and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Imam Zaid was short and gave it up to Shaykh Hamza. Shaykh Hamza himself said to summarize his lecture in one word would be, Adab. We lack adab. We as Muslims need to make our adab pure. Imam Zaid sang a nasheed at the end. Check out the video below.

MR’s 2006 RIS Pictures:

2006 RIS Conference and Concert pictures

2006 RIS Knowledge Retreat pictures

The RIS Knowledge Retreat was out of this world! My notes do absolutely no justice to what was said there.

MR’s 2006 RIS Knowlege Retreat Notes:

MR’s 2006 RIS Video Clips:

Imam Zaid Shakir at RIS:

Another clip of Imam Zaid singing here.

MR’s Video Clips of RIS Concert

(Includes A’ashiq al Rasul, Ehab Tawfiq and Outlandish)

Other people’s videos:
Outlandish – I Only ask of God – RIS 2006
Outlandish – Aisha – RIS 2006
Outlandish – I only ask of God – RIS 2006
Outlandish – Aisha – RIS 2006
Outlandish – I’ve Seen – RIS 2006

Finally it’s done. Until RIS 2007…Ma’salama!

59 Replies to “RIS is the Best Convention in North America!”

  1. Hip /\ Hop aint tht bad, well…I unno i listen to alot so dont take my actions and words, but you know, is it harram to read the lyrics i really dont know, cus maybe i can read em and qquit

  2. what happened to my picture! You were taking my picture when I was sitting with my sis-in-law and friends but just when you were focusing I waved you and you got embarrassed…don’t be shy publish my picture 🙂

    Kidding aside, this is an amazing blog you’ve put together. I am still thinking to type my notes and you have already published it.

    Keep the good work up. May Allah give you strenght.


  3. Speaking of notes…I was wondering if anyone was able to jot down the name of the Oxford Professor of Islamic Studies that Dr. Tariq Swuidan said influenced John Locke? I wasn’t able to jot his name down.

  4. hey assalamualaikum, great pics and videos, mashaAllah, the zaid shakir one rules. But I noticed you didn’t take notes during Tariq Suwaidan’s part!! Hahaha my friends did the same and hence I’m out of notes for the part that I missed on the last day. if anyone you know has the notes from suwaidan’s last lecture, with dates and all, do lemme know inshaALlah. or email it here.

    thanks! wassalam

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