Alhamdulillah this weekend the local Muslim Students Association put on a conference at one of the local universities. It was a weekend packed full of teaching lead by our local Imaam and a couple of mehsha'Allah very knowledgeable brothers in the community. It was exciting for me as it was the first time I would attend a conference since my conversion and I was very much looking forward to seeing the community together, learning, and bettering ourselves for the sake of Allah (SWT).
Alhamdulillah what an optimal time to attend a conference.... during the month of Sha'aban where we should all strive to do good deeds and get ourselves ready for Ramadan.
The conference was full of various presentations, covering topics like: the Quran, the biography of the Prophet (SAW), fiqh, Aqeedah, and "Manners and Etiquette". To make the package even more enticing, to attend was FREE and included lunch on both days, and dinner the final night.
Alhamdulillah what an incredible opportunity for the community!
After all of the preparation, and posters being put up, advertisements in the local MSA newsletter, and announcements at the masjid would you guess how many people showed up??? My approximation is 30 the first day and 20 the second day. Needless to say I am shocked.
Here it is, weeks before Ramadan and the community has a chance to learn, prepare and get themselves "in the zone", insha'Allah increasing their knowledge and faith in Islam and of 2000+ Muslims in our city 20-30 attend? I was so embarrassed!
Then when I mention it to people, excuses are made... "there weren't enough posters put up," "it wasn't advertised well enough"...
Either way, we as a community are responsible. If not enough publicity was done why not? Why weren't we promoting this? Personally I received two newsletters, saw 4 posters, and heard the announcement at the masjid. Is nobody else attending the mosque? Does nobody else have email?
Alhamdulillah Ramadan is a month where we as Muslims can shape up and look at ourselves in our faith, but it should not be the only time that happens. We as Muslims are called to seek knowledge and better ourselves. Weekends like this one are perfect opportunities for that. What is wrong with us when we feel like we don't need to support the local student association or increase our hikma? I have a hard time believing that all of the 2000+ Muslims were working this weekend.
We need to be sure that our faith isn't practiced only in one month. That we don't become Ramadan-Muslims. I know this is my first Ramadan and I am still a new Muslim, but I know that living like that-- trying to survive off of a "spiritual high" that lasts for a month, will leave you plummeting down from the top in the months to follow.
There are still two weeks before Ramadan... what are you going to do to get ready?? Ramadan aside, what are you going to do to show Allah (SWT) that you are committed to Him, His religion, and bettering yourself as a Muslim.
To those who put on the conference this weekend, Jazakum Allah Khair! Insha'Allah Allah will reward you for your efforts and service to Him. To the speakers, Alhamdulillah Allah has given you knowledge and the ability to communicate it to the community. I pray that we would all be eager to hear it.
May Allah have mercy on our souls, keep us in His deen and make us among the pious... ameen