Spirituality at Toronto’s RIS

Reviving The Islamic Spirit (RIS 2012)
(Day 3)
By Tarek M. T. Ezzat
Managing Editor-OnIslam.net

Sister Yasmin Mogahed at RIS

Day 1  -  Day 2 

The third and last day at the RIS 2012 Convention included excellent talks by a number of distinguished scholars, such as Dr. Jamal Badawi, Imam Zaid Shakir and Mufti Mustafa Ceric.

The first afternoon session was titled “Neither Wealth nor Family Will Avail, Only a Sound Heart”, and was shared by two speakers: Sister Yasmin Mogahed from the US and Sheikh Mokhtar Maghraoui from Algeria.

Sister Yasmin Mogahed started her talk on the real meaning of poverty, which most people assume is shortage in cash or material wealth, whereas in reality real poverty is the poverty of the heart.

If we feed our bodies and starve our souls that is real poverty, as the heart was created to know God and love Him. If the heart is not filled by any other thing, it will suffer from poverty and death.

The heart that is owned by this worldly life is the weakest of all slaves, as when we enslave ourselves to different worldly things like money, status, careers, … etc. we leave the orbit of the Creator and enter the orbit of the creation, so we need to reflect what do we really love most?

In practicing Islam, many people focus on the external side of Islam and go about it from the outside in, instead of the other way, which is the inside out, starting with the heart.

So How Do We Rectify Our Hearts?

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that in the body there is a piece of flesh, if it is sound the whole body is sound, and that is the heart, and this is where our main focus should be.

When you love someone, you do what you can to serve them. There is an honor in serving the one you love, but if there is no love serving them becomes a burden. And this applies to the five daily prayers, and we need to remember that when we don’t pray we only harm ourselves.

before it’s too late, we need to purify the piece of flesh that the Prophet said we should purify, which is the heart

We need to remember that this worldly life will one day end. If a student parties each night and does not study for the finals, that does not mean that the finals won’t come. They will. If we don’t see the storm coming that does not mean it won’t, and if we don’t believe that the Day of Judgment is coming it does not mean it won’t.

So before it’s too late, we need to purify the piece of flesh that the Prophet said we should purify, which is the heart. Sometimes, what prevents people from returning to Allah’s Path is that they think that their sins are too serious to be forgiven. But Allah (SWT) says it clearly in the Quran:

{Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."} (Az-Zumar, 39: 53)

Transformation sometimes starts with a fall, and the floor is where humility is found, so prostrate and ask for God’s forgiveness. If you seek God to bring you back, He will mend your heart. So feel remorse for the fall, but don’t despair.

A believer’s strongest love should be to Allah, but as one can’t love someone they don’t know, we need to get to know Allah (SWT), and talk to Him. The polish of repentance makes the heart more beautiful than before, so remove the veil between you and Allah.

The storm is coming, so be prepared. Death is surely coming, don’t forget that, and nothing can stop it. If the heart is full of the love of Allah, that will speak for you at the time of death. Someone said that the one who dies with the most toys is the winner. But is that really true?

Of course not.

To be a real winner, don’t let your heart be attached to the toys of the world.


The Paradise of this World

Sheikh Mokhtar Maghraoui then spoke about the Paradise of this world, which is the pleasure derived from the remembrance of Allah (SWT).

Once you break away from the shackles of this world, then your heart becomes free, which means you can fly and glide freely with your heart. So don’t be a slave to money, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:

"May the slave of the dinar and the dirham, the qatifa (outer garment) and khamisa (cloak) perish! If he is given them he is pleased, and if he is not given them he is not pleased." (Al-Bukhari)

Jesus, peace be upon him, said “I am the slave of Allah” which means I am the freest person in the world.

So leave yourself behind and come near to Allah.

And don’t be afraid to surrender to Him, as you are surrendering to the Most Merciful.

Related Links:
Peace and Tranquility in a Modern World
Contentment: Sign of a True Believer
Ways for New Muslims to Find Inner Peace
Finding Contentment: An Emotional Choice
Living a Happy Life with a Strong Faith (Folder)

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