By Sr Chloe Idris
This past weekend was the launch of Seekers Point Auckland. My husband and I had booked our flights a month in advance to attend this event, traveling from Wellington to Auckland straight after work. We had both made a personal commitment to attend beneficial gatherings in New Zealand whenever possible, and after our experience at the 2012 SeekersRetreat in Taupo, there was no way we wanted to miss this.
It was such a blessing to be in the presence of Shaykh Faraz Rabbani as well as local teachers Ustadha Waseema Ahmed, and Ustadh Haamid BenFayed. The launch was a jam-packed weekend filled with beneficial and inspiring knowledge, and although I left the event feeling physically exhausted, I was also spiritually nourished again in a way that made me realise I had been famished for quite a while.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, filled with our responsibilities and everything that we ‘have to do’, ‘must do’, and ‘need to do’, we forget that God is always with us. We forget that we can open up to Him at any time, and He will listen. We forget that God hasn’t made it hard to become closer to Him; all we have to do is take the first step, and He will come to us running. The message that I took away from the launch was love, in all its forms. Love for the Divine, love for the Prophet in his human perfection, love for our fellow human beings. This weekend emphasised to me that the foundation of this religion is love, and in fact, love is the very reason that we exist at all. We are engulfed in mercy by the Creator, and we were created purely to know Him. Deep down our souls recognise this and yearn to be back with Him, yet we suppress this natural inclination, we suppress our fitra.
The Shuyukh empasised the importance of reflection as a means of attaining God-consciousness. They emphasised the importance of creating a habit of pausing before doing, taking a moment to consider the ‘why’ behind the action. Each pause is in fact an opportunity, a chance to purify our intention and open a space for God in our heart. Imagine a day filled with these moments – moments of reflection, moments of remembrance, moments of noble intentions. By filling our days with moments like these, attaining God-consciousness becomes easier, and we will become increasingly close to Him. God isn’t absent from our lives, He isn’t disinterested and uninvolved. In reality, He is only a thought away.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala fill our hearts with love for Him, and the Beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wassalam. Ameen.