Thursday, April 09, 2009

U of T

I was given the opportunity to speak in a class of U of T Education Students (who are about to become teachers) today. One of my girlfriends is a convert and student in the class and was asked to speak about Islam. I was invited to go as well, in the hopes of answering questions and creating understanding for those teachers if they have Muslim students in their classrooms. 

Between my nerves and the general tone of the class, I don't know whether it was effective or not. Hindsight is 20/20 and I am replaying moments wishing I had added comments or made points that may have been far more beneficial. One thing that I mentioned but I don't know if it was properly heard amidst the many questions  and comments in the session was this-- And this is really crucial... 
It is really impossible to look at Islam through the eyes of a non-Muslim and to be able to understand it as a Muslim understands it. This is because coming from various cultures and backgrounds we have biases and opinions that create filters on how we view certain points. Likewise, me being a Muslim will likely not be able to understand a point about a non-Muslim value system that is opposite of a practise within the religion. (A convert may or may not be the exception to this.) Those in the West worship their freedom, wealth and liberties, while Muslims worship Allah. Allah has outlined the way we should live and as a Muslim it isn't problematic because we strive for adherence to our religion, not for personal gains and accomplishments. While the non-Muslim works towards gaining freedom, idependence... the list could go on and on, the Muslim works towards a mastery of the self which is complete worship of our creator. I just want to highlight this again, as the point of my presentation to the class today was not to come to an agreement.  It was to present the information of the Qur'an and the Hadith (the sayings and actions of Muhammad (May Allah's peace be upon him) with truth and accuracy so whether or not a person accepts or believes them, they will know what their students, and Muslims believe. God willing this was taken from today's presentation and the class did leave with a  specific knowledge about Islam and its practices and not anger that there was disagreement and we didn't all see eye to eye. 

The other thing that I pray for, is that when one of these teachers has a student that comes to them telling them their hijab was ripped off by someone, or that they were called a camel-jockey, or that they cannot do a particular assignment because it is against their religious beliefs, that they will be met with sensitivity, support, and respect. Being different isn't easy, and being different and hated by a lot of society is especially difficult. Be a safe person to those students-- 

I am very greatful for the opportunity I was given to speak in the class today. Any goodness that comes from it is solely from Allah and any error was mine alone. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I have been meaning to post for the last little while... I guess time got away on me. I just have a couple of announcements that I thought people should be aware of. 

Firstly, mark your calendars. Journey of Faith Conference II is July 4th and 5th of this year in Toronto. Last year was incredible. Insha'Allah I will see you all there. 

This weekend April 11 and 12 in Toronto at Khalid bin Waleed Mosque there is a conference with a great speaker list mash'Allah. Check it out at

If you haven't already heard Al Kauthar is offering knowledge hive to the students of Toronto/GTA. Shukh from around the world will be attending. Seats are limited to 100. Check it out at

Still a favorite. for those of you who are wanting to listen to the Qur'an and/or memorize. There are lots of options for repetition, reciters, tajweed.... This site is amazing mash'Allah! With tutorials to help with memorizing, word lists to teach the most common words in the Qur'an and much more, it is a favorite for those who are seeking to understand and memorize the Qur'an.

Lastly, I have been invited to speak in a class at U of T this week. I will be presenting with another student of the class, speaking mainly about women in Islam. I am really excited although incredibly nervous. Please keep me in your dua that Allah gives me clairity in speech, and that my intention remain for His sake alone. Insha'Allah it brings benefit.