Okay so I've been ranting and raving for about a week now, but today I am nothing but utterly happy. Today is the Prophet's (saw) Birthday and the program was great. I also saw everyone I haven't seen aside from email and the internet all in one place again. I'm going to miss them all dearly when I permantly move. And all the hugging and kissing going on tonight made me feel the love. Not only am I emotionally/socially satisfied, but I learned some new stuff, got a new book, and got a Quran in nothing but English so I can read it anytime.
The lectures were great. Masooma
did a great job. She is so brave. I don't think I could get up in front of a room and have the composure, let alone the intelligence, to do what she does. She is just wonderful. I have the utmost respect for her. The way she answered questions with such composure and confidence amazes me.
It was nice to see Sister Scorpion
too... We don't see each other enough. But insh'Allah we are all going to have a girl's night soon for her birthday. I can't wait. These girls are my inspiration. I look to both for the information they contain and also the friendship they give. Love you both. :-)
The visiting scholar, Sayyid Muhammad Hijazi, was great. Progressive in my opinion and the best speaker I've heard at a function. A couple things that stood out were (I'm sure I'm forgetting many...wish I had used pen and paper):
- The importance of the hadith "The ink of a scholar is more sacred than the blood of a martyr." This is one of my favorite hadiths... Probably because I am a writer (or wannabe anyhow). But he took it a notch further by attributing "the ink" as knowledge.
- The Quran being the only "living" miracle of God.
- I also liked the discussion of "we" in the Quran... That had confused me before as I wondered who the others were in the "we". He explained how it is the "royal we" in Arabic and therefore doesn't translate the way it should. See Masooma's blog
for a better explanation.
- He said he didn't like the name convert because it doesn't convey what converts are really doing. He said they are actually perfecting their religion (emphasizing the validity and importance of Christianity, etc.). Many converts use revert as a name because we are actually reverting back to our natural state (submissive to God), but this was a new interesting way of looking at it. Liked it.
There's much more but I'm tired. I spent 6 1/2 hours there and just wanted to get some stuff down. I liked this guy though.
After the lecture, I asked him to answer a question for me. I still can't believe I did it because I am so shy and also the whole female talking to a sheik makes me uncomfortable. I guess it's because with the sheik we have had at the mosque, I didn't feel I could talk to him. Probably more me than him, I don't know. But anyhow, this guy was progressive and I felt I could. So we went aside and talked. I confessed that I'm struggling with the whole Imams being infallible issue. He answered my questions much better than anyone else I have asked. He didn't just say "It's in the Quran." He gave a good answer. And when I asked "If the prophets are infallible, what about Adam disobeying God?" He didn't look at me like I was a kefur, he answered it logically and with examples...although I still feel that Adam disobeyed God... Maybe it's the Catholic upbringing, but I respected his knowledge and explanation. And his not saying "You aren't Shia if you don't believe this" answer. And he also emphasized the most important part of being Muslim.
What else... Oh this was funny... a sister had said to me with a big hug and kiss "I'm so glad we have a revolutionary female Shia who is going to convert so many with her writing." Wow. What a statement. And a compliment. I didn't realize she had thought of me in that way. She has called me a radical before, but not a revolutionary. I swallowed that statement with much pride.
So many people believe in me and feel I am going to do great things with my writing. I dream it's true, but often don't feel it. But after hearing it so many times, insh'Allah I am going to start on a book right away. I have much to learn and study while doing so, but it will be a motivator, especially since I'm not working now and really don't have an excuse. Pray that I can accomplish this... Please.
Oh...one more thing. I've been looking forward to hearing Dr. Liyakat Takim speak as I heard he is very good and he was. He told a story that made me laugh but I'm having a hard time remembering the whole thing. When I remember it all I will post it. Insh'Allah.
I love days like this. I could hug the whole world. Much love tonight.