Saturday, 12 September 2015

MRDF Family retreat : The Companions:Their lives and legacy

The event was from 28th to 31st of August 2015 and it was held at University of Leicester. We have been to the university before attending the JIMAS conference couple of years ago. We left after Jumuah as the MRDF people did mention that they are not providing any jumuah facility there on the day. So we left just after jumuah. There was a bit of traffic on the way as lot of people leave London around bank holiday weekends. When we finally reached Leicester, we smelt quite a lot of cow dung! Kids were quite shocked by the smell. For me, it was quite a delight as the smell took me back to my childhood holidays to my granddad's place in rural Bangladesh. My granddad was a very devoted farmer. He died last year. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala bless him with jannatul ferdous.
Leicester is known as the heart of rural England. It was great to see so many cattle scattered around the area. Sometimes as city dwellers we lose our crucial connection to nature. That's why travelling to rural areas is very important. I don't think our kids will ever appreciate the countryside the way we did. I miss my childhood, roaming around rural Iran and during holidays , rural Bangladesh.
We reached there at the campus around 6 pm Alhamdulillah. During our stay at the university, we attended quite a lot of lectures, panel discussions and seminars. I did take quite a lot of notes Alhamdulillah. I hope to share some here with you inshaAllah.
Our companions are the best of our Ummah. Nobody can be better than them. They are like the starts. W need to follow them if we have the same goal like them. Their main goal was pleasing Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and a strong desire to be successful in hereafter (Akhira). They sacrificed whatever they can to establish Islam as a faith on this earth. If we question their integrity, we are actually questioning our faith! The faith was established on this earth by them with the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wa sallam. Allah subhanahu wa talala Himself mentioned in His Book, the Qur'an that He is pleased  with them. How can we criticize them or question their integrity as believers? The person who criticizes them, has a sickness in his heart.
Companions are not like angels, free of desires. But they did their best as believers. They constantly asked for forgiveness as they know that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala loves the people who constantly repent. We as Muslim have an obligation to follow them. In Surah At-Tawba , Allah swt tells us that He is pleased with those who follow the sahaba. Imam Malik (Ra) tells us that their actions are loved by Allah swt so we should follow them. They are the most blessed. Allah swt blessed them with criterion , to know the difference from good and bad, right and wrong. Imam Malik (RA) tells us, what was not part of Islam before, cant be part of Islam today. So there is no place for "reformation" of our faith.
When the companions agreed about something ( had ijma on issues) , it became pure for us. We follow their verdict without questioning. Because they had the most authentic knowledge. And their action was based on that pure knowledge.

MRDF Family retreat 2015

Last year, we went to the Eden family retreat organised by Islamic network. We had a blast Alhamdulillah! This year we have been eagerly waiting for another Eden family retreat. But unfortunately they couldn't organize the event this year. I was looking for an alternative. Alhamdulillah heard about MRDF family retreat. I heard from other sisters how good the retreat is so we decided to give it a try. Alhamdulillah we had a great time as a family.
Kids running around the prayer hall
The four days spent at University of Leicester was really beautiful. Every single member of the family enjoyed their time and benefited from the retreat. It was truly a retreat for me from my daily mama life Alhamdulillah. No cooking, cleaning, looking after kids! We had breakfast in the morning and then drop our three kids to their activity zone and head to the lecture halls to learn about the greatest generation of the Muslims: the companions i.e sahaba of our beloved Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam. It was very inspiring to learn about the mothers of believers . Shaikh Haitham Al-Haddad ran the seminar about the great women of our ummah. We also learnt about great companions such as Abu Bakr (RA), 'Umar (RA), Salman Al-Farisi (RA), Khalid Bin Walid (RA) Alhamdulillah. As a teenager, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the great companions. It always boosts our imaan. They are the greatest role models for us. But how many of us really know about them? I hope to learn more about the companions inshAllah and read their stories to our children inshAllah.
Through the activities, kids learnt a lot about the companions Alhamdulillah. When we came back, we did the quiz the teachers from MRDF has provided us with. I am really glad that kids did very well. I learnt a lot from them Alhamdulillah. I am so inspired by the retreat that I hope to attend the MRDF Family conference in December at Nottingham inshAllah. I know it is quite pricey but it is definitely worth spending money on inshAllah. For me, holidays should be not only about enjoying beautiful views but also about getting inspired spiritually and intellectually so that we can return to our real world with a strong passion to live life for Him inshaAllah. You can learn more about the conference at Building a fabric of society : Ridding ourselves of social ills

Seeking knowledge

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful
Reception: Beetle
Alhamdulillah our youngest one just started full time school. Last 8 years I have been busy raising our three children Alhamdulillah. There was a phase when I was changing three nappies! I realized toilet training is not my cup of tea. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing, playing (most of the time outdoor) and story telling. Can't believe how quickly they have grown up mashAllah! Now when I drop them at the school, the youngest one says not to accompany him to his class. He wants to behave like his older siblings. Moments like this makes me wonder whether I will be needed by them in future. I am sure as parents we will always be cherished inshAllah but the extent of dependency on us will definitely get less and less. We may need them more as we grow old. I tell them we will be the babies and they may need to look after us as parents. Circle of life :-)
Now that all the kids are at school, I can concentrate on my study inshAllah. I thought this day will never come! Subhanallah time flies! While at university, I started taking my faith seriously. I started practising with conviction alhamdulillah. We had a good library at the prayer room. As I am an avid reader, that was a great opportunity to delve into the religious books Alhamdulillah. I used to rush from the lectures and seminars to be there at the prayer room with my beloved sisters who helped me so much to understand our faith properly Alhamdulillah. One of the sisters taught me how to read the Qur'an with proper tajweed. There was a point in my life where I thought I wish I can just devote my whole time to seek knowledge for His Sake. But  as a social being, I got carried away and spent most of my time at work. Then got married and a new phase started...motherhood. It is definitely a very challenging job. 24/7 with no breaks! I still tried my best to attend the circles of knowledge i.e halaqa but I used to get frustrated if kids made noise. I love going to the masajid. But I found it very difficult to go to the mosque with kids. I want our children to have a positive attachment to the house of Allah but I found majority of the masajid not very family friendly.
Now that, our kids are at school, I hope to seek knowledge properly and spread the knowledge through writing and socialising inshAllah. I am really blessed to be able to attend the circles of knowledge on a weekly basis Alhamdulillah. These places are regarded as the gardens (of Jannah) on earth. Our beloved Rasulullah sallallahu alaihe wa sallam said, “If you pass by the Gardens of Paradise, then dwell therein.” When asked what the gardens of paradise are, he replied, “The circles of remembrance.”
As Muslim community, we have a long way to go inshAllah. Most of us don't really understand our faith properly because the knowledge wasn't that available to us before. Alhamdulillah people are getting more aware of their faith thanks to the dedicated teachers and shuyukh in the community. Internet is also a huge blessing for us Alhamdulillah. I have learnt a lot through the social media and YouTube and Bayyinah TV. I hope I will be able to devote more time in seeking knowledge inshAllah. And seeking knowledge should be only for His Pleasure. The more we know about Him, the more we will love Him and worship Him. Please do keep us in your precious dua.
O Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is of benefit, a good provision and deeds that will be accepted.
O Allah, make the Qur'an the spring of my heart and the light of my chest, the banisher of my sadness and the reliever of my distress.