Alhamdulillah, I’m back! Time to do an MR convention review and a speaker/notes reflection! The post is long so make sure you click more to see it all. (I didn’t take any pictures, because well my sister had the camera the whole time).
This is my general review of the convention itself:
- The majority of speakers were respectable scholars and amazing speakers.
- Shaykh Khalid Yasin was there, but he wasn’t on the speaker list. That was very disappointing.
- Imam W. D. Muhammad was there, which was a surprise. Didn’t get a chance to hear him though, so I can’t say much.
- It’s been in Hartford the past 2 years now. It’s really close to my house, so no complaints from me. 😀
- They should dedicate areas specifically for booksellers, clothing, masjids, organizations, etc. That way it’ll be less traffic congested for those who are simply trying to find a book.
- NO HALAL RICE KRISPY TREATS! – Extremely disappointed. I wasted hours searching the bazaar for them. In conclusion the bazaar was wack because of this.
- EDIT: Apparently I was wrong and the bazaar did have halal Rice Krispy Treats. Although I think the vendor didn’t have the normal amount like previous conventions.
- Let brothers have there own entertainment and let sisters have there own. Although the YM-Brothers skit was good (Shout out to Omar S. and the crew!), the restrictions that were placed upon the brothers by the sisters were too much. I guess that’s why they took a bashing by Omar S. “I sincerely apologize sisters for this.” – Omar S. HAHAHA Good stuff!
- I was hoping for an appearance by Native Deen, but they were no where to be seen.
- The $10 lunch and dinner buffet was wack. It tasted like white people trying to make desi food. Although the pasta was good (the only non-desi food, hhmmm).
- The concession stand which was selling pizza, chicken tenders, halal hot dogs and soda was good.
So thats my basic review of the conference. Now time for the my speaker review and some notes:
- Altaf Hussain
- I actually had to moderate the first Youth Conference session which was a workshop on gender relations. This was probably the worst part of the conference, because I was embarrassed a few times on stage. Alhamdulillah though, it was funny. (Altaf, if you’re reading this, don’t worry I love you for the sake of Allah, :-D). At one point in the lecture he was holding my hand as an example to demonstrate one of his points. He said my hand felt good. :-/ Anyways, time for the serious stuff.
- He talked about how the religion of Islam is complete and timeless, meaning that the values that Allah (swt) and the Prophet Muhammad (saas) has implemented into our lives are for everyone and for any time and generation. Basically the idea of boundary between genders has nothing to do with culture. It is part of Islam.
- An amazing point he made was that big corporations today are banning closed door meetings, becuase if a man and a woman are alone during a meeting, there might be an incident of sexual harassment. It comes down to the word of the man and the word of the woman. We all know that most likely in these cases, the woman usually gets her way. So now they are banning closed door meetings and they make sure all meetings are held publicly so people can see what’s going on. The Prophet (saas) said when a man and a woman are alone, the third person is the devil. He (saas) said this over 1,400 years ago. SubhanAllah!
- He concluded by discussing 3 important letters regarding gender relations: P P L.
- P – Purposeful. The must be a halal purpose for you to be meeting with the opposite gender.
- P – Public. It should be in the public. He believes that the mall isn’t a public place, becuase technically no one knows what you could be saying or doing. It all depends on who the public is.
- L – Limited. It’s about the intention. What is your intention for talking to him/her?
- Well, that’s basically it. Next speaker
- Sh. Yasir Qadhi
- Well, Sh. Yasir and MR has had some history now. Alhamdulillah it was a learning experience. What you are about to read may be dangerous for your eyes and may cause you to drop your jaw wide open. You have been warned.
- The first lecture he gave was on the ‘Treaty of Hudaybiya’. After the lecture was done, my mouth was wide open and I was in complete shock! I had completely agreed with him 100%. MR agreed with Shaykh Yasir Qadhi 100% fully! (Obviously there was no aqidah involved, hehe.) I’ll go over the points that were amazing to me and then I’ll comment on the “new” Sh. Yasir Qadhi.
- The Prophet (saas) defended his camel, Qaswa, when the companions were insulting it becuase it was not moving when they were making the pilgrimage to Makkah for the first time after hijra. The Prophet (saas) defended a camel, what about defending the honor of a Muslim? Yet today we have many Muslims (including myself) who ridicule other Muslims for ridiculous reasons. May Allah (swt) forgive us all.
- Muslims were living in Abyssinia even after the Islamic State was fully established in Madinah. The Prophet (saas) did not tell them to come back. Establishing an Islamic state is not a pragmatic or realistic goal. It’s actually un-Islamic. (MR’s mouth is wide open)
- The jihad of dawah is greater then the jihad of might. The victory of the hudabiya is far greater than the Muslim battles before (Badr, Uhud, etc.). (MR is shocked!).
- After this lecture, I was amazed. I felt guilty and bad for having such a negative perception of Sh. Yasir Qadhi after this. I wanted to cry all those times I saw a lecture by him on YouTube and I brushed it off all because his aqidah opinions is not of my teacher’s aqidah opinions. Even my mother and sister loved him. My mother said “he’s changed, he’s really good, mashaAllah”. I have heard rumors of the “new” Sh. Yasir Qadhi, but I had never witnessed it, becuase the last time I had heard him speak was at the Light of Guidance seminar in New Jersey, which a was more than a year ago. That was when he was the “pre-Yale” Sh. Yasir Qadhi.
- Sh. Yasir Qadhi is the salafi version of Sh. Hamza Yusuf. They are both very well educated and learned and both born in this country and went through a life of a typical young person (like us all). Most salafi’s can’t deny the intelligence of Sh. Hamza Yusuf and most sufis can’t deny the intelligence of Sh. Yasir Qadhi. It is also clear that Sh. YQ is evolving and changing his views and opinions as he gets older and wiser (pre-Yale to post-Yale). This is very similar to Sh. HY evolution from pre-9/11 and post-9/11.
- Imam Siraj Wahhaj
- Everyone who is reading this right now, make dua for this caller to Islam. Wallahi, Imam Siraj Wahhaj amazes me every time he speaks. I can’t even count the amount of times he has made me cry internally. Some of the majoir points that I noted down in my notebook were that the Nation of Islam is very close to the Sunnah and might be (inshaAllah!) considered part of Sunni Islam in the future. Allah knows best! Most mosques in the country don’t have strategic thinking and planning for the future. There needs to be a realization of negotiable aspects of Islam in order to promote greater good and benefit for the ummah in North America.
- The emotional stuff that I was talking about just now was when Imam Siraj started to talk about how we waste so much water making wudhu and millions of children would die just for few drops of it. May Allah (swt) make it easy for all those who are suffering in the world. Ameen!
- Nouman Ali Khan
- I thought I took notes, but I didn’t. Sorry.
- Sh. Mokhtar Maghrouri
- I went to his lecture where he was talking about poetry. So I just dotted down some of my favorite ones.
- “Give me the love that I have hoped for you (Allah).”
- “Ya Allah, please don’t give me what I love that you don’t love.”
- Shirk of love is loving things that which Allah doesn’t love.
- If love for you is true, then everything else is easy to bear. Everything between you and Allah is filled, and everything between you and dunya is empty. The qalb is filled with love for Allah.
- “I gave up the world for the one who made the world.”
I want to add some more to the “new” Sh. YQ reflection. I have a lot of respect for Sh. YQ, because in another lecture he said that he had changed and he wouldn’t have said things like this in the past. That’s very commendable to acknowledge that he might have been wrong in the past in some things he said. I would also like to point out that when he called Sh. Alawi a “blatant shirk promoter”, he wasn’t the “new” Sh. YQ. I have a very strong feeling that Sh. YQ would not make statements like this anymore. My proof is that in one of his lectures during the Youth Conference (parallel to ICNA) he said that although under the Sunni Islam umbrella you will find many Muslims that differ on almost every aspect of Islam with them, this should not be a factor to consider when it comes to uniting for the common good of the ummah. He basically said that no matter what the Muslim differences are, we should still be united, so that the non-Muslims can see what we represent and what we’re all about, because to them “quantity counts”. This is a very valid point. Quantity is very important to non-Muslims.
So, I may differ with Sh. YQ on aqidah, fiqh, tasawwuf, the burda, dhikr, music, etc., but if Sh. YQ was calling me to protest against an innocent Muslim brother who was locked up, then I’d join him. Sh. YQ even said that we should work with the Shia to establish rights for Muslims. Anyone who calls them self a Muslim should be worked with in order to establish ourselves as a minority in this country.
Basically, it boils down to this: if it doesn’t compromise your belief, then let’s do it.