When Al-Buruj Press announced Ustadha Yasmin Mogahed will be in London again for her annual tour I wasn’t too sure if I should go or not. After all I went to her lecture last year and really enjoyed I thought to myself I can just watch her lecture online, and hey, her events ain’t cheap neither!
But when I read there will be a special performance by Yasmin, never seen before, I became curious. What could that be? The fact that the event was for women only gave room to many possibilities: an acrobatic or dance performance maybe? So I decided the 20 quids are well worth to satisfy my curiosity and talked a friend into coming with me.
On the day of the event my friend and me tracked bravely through a cold and rainy London evening. Once we got to the station we saw a swarm of dolled up sisters in every age and clothing range, from mini-skirt to hijab.We quickly assumed they must be going to the event as well and just tagged along.
The hall of the venue itself was set up in a gala kind of style: Lots of round tables with chairs around and a bit of decoration. Everyone had made some effort to dress up and look nice as Yasmin had suggested. What a great idea!
The evening kicked off with a short opening lecture by Yasmin on her expert topic of broken hearts and healing. For those of you interested, here are some of the main points I took away:
People in this world all chase the same things: Wealth, status and power. We all want to be rich, famous, popular, have a say etc. However, in the end of the day we won’t be taking any of this with us when we die. The only thing in this world we will be able to take with us is a sound heart, in arabic ‘qalbun saliim’.
A qalbun salim is a heart within there is no competitor with Allah. In many people’s heart there is more love for things such as fashion, a successful career, status etc than there is love for Allah. These things become rivals for the love for Allah then. Someone with a qalbun saliim, a sound hard, loves nothing more than Allah and their heart is filled with the love for Allah only.
The same can be said about fear: Some people’s heart are filled with more fear of other people than of Allah. For example, the fear of wearing hijab in general or at work ( disclaimer: I am guilty of that) because we fear being judged by our colleagues and the society more than we fear Allah. Sometimes this fear can also be of people we love and are close to us. Some of us have families for example that disapprove the way we practice our religion or our religion altogether and we end up fearing our family more than Allah. A sound heart however is filled with fear of Allah only and does not fear anyone or anything else.
Another competitor in our hearts is our wish to be independent. A lot of people nowadays are dependent on money to get a sense of security. A sound heart does not need the dependence on money. Instead, this person feels secure by being dependent on Allah only. Allah is the provider after all!
Many of us (at least me) hear this and feel like getting a qalbun saliim, a sound heart, might be unattainable or like our hearts are too soiled to ever become that pure.
That’s not true though because we are all on a journey that starts and ends with Allah. And on that journey we all stumble and fall sometime like Adam (r.a.) who did the mistake of not listening to Allah.
Even before Adam was created Allah said he will create a Khalifa for the Earth and not for the paradise, already knowing that Adam would slip and forfeit his stay in paradise leading him to live on the earth.
The angels were confused as to why Allah would create people who will suffer and create sufferings for other but Allah told them that he knows what they not know.
We are all bound to get hurt and to stumble at some point because that’s part of life. We will all commit sins at some point because we are not perfect like the angels and we do and should feel remorseful about it.
The important thing is to not give up on ourselves when we did commit a sin. It’s Shaytan or our own insecurity telling us things like: why are you even praying after doing such a bad thing? You are not pure enough to pray! Why do you even wear hijab? You are two faced for wearing hijab and then doing such a thing, you might as well not wear hijab!
We should never give in to thoughts like that! The door is never closed for anyone in this world until we die!
Besides making mistakes, there are other challenges that can break our heart: Trauma, fear, hunger and loss.
Similar to mistakes we are all bound to experience one of these traumas at some point. Alhamdulilah, here in England we don’t have to worry about things such as hunger or war but we are still bound to experience the loss of a loved one at some point or to feel fear.
But even for these traumas the doors are never closed for us: Allah said to give glad tidings to the patient ones, those who respond with inalilahi wa ina ileyhi rajoo oon. If we stay patient in those times Allah has promised us a priceless gift. Nothing in this life lasts forever, even the bad times.
This speech was such a beautiful reminder and made my heart feel heavy in longing for a purer heart filled with the love of Allah.
The program after this was much more lighthearted and of a more entertaining nature. First there were the Zanga Zanga ladies who performed a dance routine that consisted of a North African, Middle Eastern and Aerobic routine. The drum music was very catchy and they were using fan like things with long scarfs attached and completed their performance wearing abayas, a turban and niqab! They also give classes in London.
We were having lots of fun but were also slowly getting tired at this point. Of course we couldn’t leave though without seeing Yasmin’s performance! I am so curious what she will perform! I proclaimed to the sisters sitting at our table. One replied right away: Oh she will sing, the girls selling the tickets told me. Ehhm okay there goes the surprise factor lol. But the again what else would she perform? A hand stand? LOL
Despite the slightly spoiled surprise we were still excited to finally see Yasmin perform her songs after a long night. She sang an acapella version of a few songs like little mermaid and frozen. It was definitely a very entertaining evening and hey how often do you see an Ustadha actually sing disney songs?