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This post was unplanned.

The posts that were supposed to have been written after the last one were planned. I was supposed to have chronicled my Dream journey. I didn’t. It was so much to take–so much good, so much hardship, that I took that time to understand it and just could not write about it. It’s funny how we think we can share things with people. Then we realize that we have so much to say that it can’t be said.

I have several notebooks filled with notes and gems from various classes at Dream and other lectures I was blessed to attend in the area. I have only begun to comprehend even one-tenth of what we learned. Let alone share that knowledge with someone else, I haven’t even begun to fully comprehend it. It’ an ocean. It’s an ocean in which you dive again and again and pull out a different pearl every time.

The biggest lesson I learned at Dream is that knowledge truly only gives you a little of itself after you give it all of yourself (this is a statement that I heard often in Islamic circles but did not ever understand until I went to Dream). During a particularly difficult period of my studies (both academically and emotionally taxing), our teacher, Shaykh Abdullah, gave me valuable advice. He said, “You will not learn what you want to learn when you want to learn it.”

“But Shaykh,” I argued. “We have so many milestones we have to meet here. A quiz here, a test there. How will I ever move on to the next module if I don’t understand the lessons in this one?” He smiled and said, “That’s fine. You take whatever understanding you have and you take it forward. And when the time is right, you will understand what you need to understand. It will all come to you later.”

I sighed but made myself relax and move forward.

I didn’t feel like the puzzle pieces fit until we were on our last module. Slowly, a dim light bulb began to shine brighter and I had not one, not two, but multiple aha! moments. It felt truly magical. I was really truly happy for comprehending the beautiful language of Arabic in a new light (no pun intended).

Anyhow, it’s now 2017. A new year.

I haven’t even recuperated from the sudden lack of Arabic and Qur’an immersion in my life. Regular life seems…regular. Not intense. Not academically challenging. Not spiritually immersive. But I know what I want–Dream made my goals clear. Going to Dream and coming back made my goals clearer. That life of immersion is what I want. Immersion in something so powerful and fulfilling as the Arabic of the Qur’an, the richness of its language, the depth of its meaning. It’s beautiful.

It makes life beautiful.




Oppression in the Home

Sometimes cultural parents are just preparing their daughters for submission to a man.

Islam requires both men and women to submit to Allah Alone.

There is a place of respect that husbands have in Islam and it is their God-given right, and women need to embody that type of attitude and behavior into their life while expecting reward from Allah. However, this does not mean that women cannot have their own free will and do as they please as long as they are within the limits of the Shari’ah.

Those who seek to control women are sometimes outright insecure and carry misogynist thoughts, but some are actually ‘scared’ that their daughters/wives/sisters will go astray.

Islam has placed a responsibility upon men to take care of the women in their households and yes, along with financial care, that includes their religious and spiritual well-being, and it is possible that when ‘religious’ men fall into the trap of using any kind of restraining rules or abuse, they are doing so because of this mountain on their back called “responsibility.”

They are simply ignorant. And that ignorance drives them to do things against women that are unimaginable.

What men (and this includes both parents as well) need to understand is that Islam does not allow you to oppress people.

Islam does not allow you to ‘cage’ people in your ignorant mindset and consequential “list of prohibitions.”

“A parent has sinned if they have used inappropriate, harsh, or curse words while disciplining the child.” (Prohibitions of the Tongue)

Firstly, educate yourself about the proper Islamically-acceptable ways to ‘discipline’ the people in your home.

Secondly, educate young women about their rights and responsibilities as daughters, as wives, as mothers, and as the contributing members of society.

When you teach your daughters true Islam, trust them that if they won’t disobey Allah, they won’t disobey you. They won’t break your trust.

Have some trust in the women in your homes; in your daughters, in your sisters, in your wives.

Have some trust in Allah.

If you have taught the people under your care about Allah and His religion and they are still going astray, that does not justify your oppression upon them. How can you claim to “bring people back to the truth” by committing the very sin that Allah has made haram upon Himself, ‘azza wa jal??

Abu Dharr (RAA) quoted the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) Saying among what he narrated from Allah, the Most High that He has said, “O MY slaves, I have made oppression unlawful for myself and I have made it unlawful among you, so do not oppress one another.” (Related by Muslim).