Friday, March 23, 2007

Zaytuna Institute - Hayward, California

Bismillah. Salla Allahu 'ala Sayyidina Muhammad

Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

Photos of the Zaytuna Institute...unfortunately, pictures cannot capture the immensely mubarak feeling one experiences by being there.

A poem outside the classroom:

"As minutes and seconds pass by and times takes its toll on a place
An age brings an end to all things built upon stones without grace"

The outside of the classroom/musalla:

The seat of the scholars, may Allah preserve them and allow us to benefit by them:

The inside of the classroom/musalla:

The beautifully kept Zaytuna grounds:

Zaytuna flower:

Masha'Allah, a beautiful place with beautiful people. Anyone that can go and visit/study there, really should. May Allah bless the people at Zaytuna. Ameen.



Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Busy? Evaluating Your Time: Food for Thought.

Assalamu'alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

Apologies for the lack of blogging the last little while...had too much on my plate. Recently, Salik and I took a week long trip to the San Francisco Bay Area -- we wanted to go somewhere close for Spring Break and just enjoy good weather, beautiful nature, dhikrs, and see some of our shuyukh. Alhamdulillah, we got a good dose of all of that and some yummy organic crepes made with nutella to top it all off :)

All kidding aside, the trip really threw me into an introspective state. We attended a dars with Ustadh Yahya Rhodus on Prophetic Characteristics -- it was a beautiful lesson in which we learned du'as, learned about the character and habits of the noble messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), and grew in our love for him. Ustadha Yahya, reflecting on the days soon after his conversion at the age of nineteen, commented that in attending some of the lessons Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was delivering at the time along with visiting shuyukh, he thought to himself, "the stuff I'm studying in college, if I die today, it doesn't matter if I know it or not, but this stuff [knowledge of the deen], this is what matters -- I can't go to my grave without knowing this".

Simple enough, but reminders are indeed beneficial to the believer and this was definately the case for me that day. Like many of you likely are, I like to 'do' as much as I can with my time -- work, study, take courses to upgrade my professional standing/qualifications, be a good wife/ daughter/sister/friend/person, serve the ummah, and still be a devoted to Allah on a personal level. People often ask me how I manage to do so much all at the same time and look so calm -- my answer is always that I use all my time productively...but Ustadh Yahya's words got me thinking.

What is the value of everything I'm doing? And how are my job and the extra courses effecting the quality of my life and my being and my worship? How is it hindering the internalization of all that we hear from our Masters? I'm still pondering over these questions -- and it's made me even quieter than usual, prompting family and friends to ask "what's the matter, you miss California that much?". I've also been reading In Praise of Slowness and the combination of all of these things has led me to conclude that I need to cut down on my load. Advancement in the world is never-ending -- you finish one course, and there's another, and another...and before you know it, you've spent your youth and vitality for that which is parishing and lost all that time that you could have spent walking towards your Creator. Imam Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) says in various writings, that one should spend one's time with what they would do if given a week to live -- everything else really doesn't matter all that much. This is what Ustadh Yahya was talking about. This is what Shaykh Nuh is talking about when he says, may Allah preserve him, that in the end, it's all about You, Your Grave, and Allah Most High.

Food for thought insha'Allah. Pictures to follow.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Walk on Water - The Wisdom of Jesus (Sh. Hamza Yusuf)

Walk on Water - The Wisdom of Jesus (Sh. Hamza Yusuf)

Once someone asked Jesus (peace be upon him), “How are
you able to walk on water?”
Jesus replied, “With certainty.”
Then someone said, “But we also have
Jesus then asked them, “Are stone, clay,
and gold equal in your eyes?”
They replied, “Certainly not!”
Jesus responded, “They are in mine.”

(for the full article, please click on the link above)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Knowledge without Action

O disciple, knowledge without action is madness and action without knowledge is void. Know that the knowledge which does not remove you from sins today and does not convert you to obedience, will not remove you tomorrow from hellfire. If you do not act according to your knowledge today, and you do not make amends for days gone-by, you will say tomorrow on the Day of Resurrection, ‘Send us back and we will act virtuously!’ And it will be replied, ‘Fool! You have just come from there!’

- Imam al-Ghazali in Letter to a Disciple