Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Imam Suhaib Webb is in town.

The only thing that stand between my kids and a trip to US is me. My SIL stays in Santa Clara, California and we are the only people in the family who have not been there. And kids have been bugging me and Mr O for ages. I have a long list of petty excuses why we shouldn't. The long trip, the immigration hassle, the jet lag, my hesitation to entertain my kid's fascination with everything American......not to mention it will cost me a bomb to bring the whole clan there.....bla bla bla....the list goes on and on.

But the real truth is I am just not a fan. The only thing that excites me about Santa Clara is Imam Suhaib Webb is based there. Since it will make me sound like a dork telling my kids this, so I do what I do best. Diversion. And brainwashing....hahaha...but seriously, kids should stop idolizing everything American. Not everything is bad. But not everything is good either. And probably there are more bad than good. The grass always look greener on the other side of the world kiddos....they call it optical illusion ;P

Anyway, last night I finally managed to listen to the man "live" for the first time. Imam Suhaib Webb is in town. So I dragged the whole family to KGPA. And I am so glad I did.
Did u see the man standing up? Well, the room was so packed with people that there were people sitting on the stage, sitting in between the chairs, at every corner, and many more who were outside the room and couldn't get in. I was told, this is common. For his lecture. Oh well, maybe next time the organizer need to find a stadium?? ;) But kudos to Young Muslim Project (YMP) for organizing the lecture.

One of the things that I like most about YMP events is the diverse crowd that they are able to attract. I remember a lady who attended one of the lecture organized by YMP few months back. She must have come straight from work. And she was sitting right in front of me. Wearing a tight "Herve Leger bandage top look alike", a mini skirt, a designer handbag, and a 5" stilettos. Definitely not the typical people u see in a religious talk. To me, that is the real da'wah. For YMP to be able to reach people from different backgrounds is a commendable feat. You can check out their FB page for more info and updates on events.

Last night lecture, ISW was talking about Akhirah Deficit Disorder.
The first thing that he talked about is the "soul food" pyramid. Remember the food pyramid? We were told that the biggest portion at the bottom of the pyramid are the stuffs that we should eat most daily to keep our body healthy. Right? So he emphasized the need for us to put "Quran tafseer" at the bottom of our soul food pyramid. Tafseer goes beyond explanation. We should seek meaning. Making it relevant to our life. From contemporary scholars. Who understand your culture. He believes strongly that it's very important to seek meaning and understanding of the Quran from contemporary scholars than classical scholars. 

Only 2-5% of the Quran are about "nas". Undisputable rules. Crystal clear regulations. Definite meaning. Stuffs like prayer, haj, fasting etc. The rest of the Quran needs interpretation. And Quran is made to be relevant till the end of time. Hence u can't rely on an interpretation from a classical scholars who lives in different environment with different culture at different time thinking it will be relevant to us now. He also discussed the inability of Islamic scholars to convey relevant message being one of the fundamental reason leading to the widespread ADD phenomena nowadays. Learn Islam from scholars that empower u to live FOR Islam. NOT die for it. Which I couldn't agree more. There were so many times I listened to lectures and wonder whether the "scholars" live in a different time period. They can sound so detached and outdated that it makes u wonder no more why most people that attend the lecture are the oldies. Not the young ones who are the targeted audience.

He also discussed the difference between the means and the objectives. Means to an end. Means are the resources that we have. eg. marriage, kids, wealth etc etc. Objective is your goal. The end. Nothing in this world is a pure objective. Our ultimate objective should be success in the here after.  Just in case u might wonder why some people are filthy rich, and some are not (although they work as hard), different people has different means to achieve their objective. Which explains why some people have good life and some don't. Some people has bigger means. Some people has smaller means. Means can be a boon (blessing) or a bane (curse or istidraj). It really depends on how u react to it. Irrespective of the means, the only thing that matters is whether we ultimately achieve the objective of achieving success in the here after. And he discussed the tafseer of Al-Lail to elaborate the matter. 

In verse 7, humans are told if they strive their utmost towards Allah, that He will provide every help and satisfaction to a “state of ease” (li-l-yusrā). He cautioned us, in reality it's going to be hard. If it's hard keep your eyes on the ultimate prize. In his American street lingo, he joked; the verse means, if we work hard to attain success in akhirah, Allah promises us " I got your back" ;-)

This cute pic taken from here :)
So where do we start?
1. Start with baby steps. Slowly but surely. Everybody has their own demon. Their own sin. Work it.
2. Surround yourself with good friends.
Islam is to inspire us to be inspirational. That is the reason kids need to go to school. The reason we need to do our job. The most influential American Muslim is Muhammad Ali. Simply because he's inspirational. Rasulullah saw was so successful because he's inspirational. ISW was hilarious when he chided the conspiration theory. He doesn't believe in any of the theories. The Jews, Illuminatis, Americans etc etc etc...whatever theories out there thinking somebody is out there to sabotage the Muslims. Muslim is always the victim. Well, u r what u think. So wonder no more why we are so behind. His challenge is "Look at the state of our self". Muslim is weak because of their own doing. NOT somebody's else. So stop the paranoia and work on ourselves to inspire others. In whatever capacities that we can. He actually reminds me to the similar paranoia...the "Malay" paranoia :(
3. Attend study circle. At least once a week. Not just from the internet, youtube or our own reading.
4. Be good to your parents.
He shared his personal story with his mother who is a non Muslim. In his early days as a Muslim, he was struggling memorizing the Quran. And when he related this to his teacher the syeikh response to him was "How have u been treating your mother?" This perplexed him but he started putting some efforts. Buy flowers. Do house chores. Make his momma happy. And gradually his memorization got better. And better. 
It tickles me coz Luqman is struggling with the same issues at the moment. He keeps forgetting all the surah. So dude, start being nice to me. Make me happy ;) ahaksssss...
5. Be good to people in general. If u don't, your knowledge is useless. It will put u away from jannah.

I definitely did not capture everything. Bits and pieces. Ms Medina was not on her best behaviour last night. It was late, plus she got annoyed when the audience kept laughing to the Imam's jokes and she didn't get the jokes. But Luq & Hajar were raving about ISW, and that pleased me greatly. And we met some familiar faces. Some of the cuzzies were there too. So we had a good time last night ;)


  1. Kak Linda, I think you really captured everything he said; and actually mengclearkan some of the things I missed because of my "mind lapse". As I was from a full day conference - (plus lack of sleep on the previous two nights), I wasn't exactly in the right state of mind to digest yet another intellectual discourse. He was good; very good; I especially liked the part he said about "yusra and 'usra" and "inna sa'yakum lasyatta" but because I was tired, I found my mind having lapses for a few times -gaaaah - that I didn't exactly capture the sequence.. so thank you very very much for this summary and I'm sharing this with my friends!

  2. Oh and also the part he said that why blame others on conspiracy theories when you're not living an inspired life - when you can't even inspire your own children? I was like, *OUCH* tho I don't even have a child yet.

    Let us live an inspired life :)

    P/s: You inspire me already.

  3. actually yg part not inspiring your own children tu, I lagilah double triple OUCH...straight kena atas btg hidung sendiri....hahahaha...anyway let's get inspired together2 ;)...I need to be urgently inspired to be the housewife that completed her phd ;D

  4. Salam sister,
    Can't really recall how I stumbled upon ur entry but I praise Allah for giving me the honour.I felt bad when I had to miss ISW on ADD and really glad you have taken the trouble to write and share. May I please share your awesome writing with my friends? It's just too good not to be shared to inspire others. Pls let me know if you want ur blog to be mentioned or not.
    Jazakillahukhayran kathira.

  5. Shila, just go ahead. No worries. My blog is in public domain's just my ramblings but if it can benefit another soul why not lah kan??? ;)

    The full version of the lecture is available here