Should Muslims "Apologize" For The Orlando Shooting? Imam Zaid Shakir

In the aftermath of the Orlando murders many Muslims are adamant that they will not apologize for anything. Imam Zaid Shakir argues, this is a proper stance as our religion does not advocate collective guilt, nor collective punishment. However, clarifying Muslim teachings is also being condemned and this is wrong.

We are informed in the Qur’an, “No bearer of burdens (a sinner) can bear the burdens of another.” No one needs say, “I am sorry” for crimes they did not commit. On the other hand, many are viewing clarifying Muslim teachings, attempting to manage popular perceptions, or condemning criminal actions as unacceptable “apologizing.” Such a view is misguided.

We Do Not Have The Luxury Not To

It is fitting, in fact it is imperative, that we announce to the public that acts of vigilante violence, mass murder, wanton mayhem, and targeting innocent people have no place in our religion. This is true if such violence takes place in Muslim majority countries, as happens almost daily in places like Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Yemen, and sporadically elsewhere in the Muslim world. It is especially true for those of us living here in the United States, where there is a propaganda machine in place, which capitalizes on the unique aspects of each massacre to distort basic Islamic teachings, over time with numbing effect. Unfortunately, in my opinion, we do not have the luxury of saying nothing.

Nefarious Forces

Such clarification is especially needed now because nefarious forces are using Omar Mateen’s (and his possible accomplices’) vile actions to further the idea that Islam is a violent, irrational, barbaric religion, and then translate the ensuing fear, hatred and anger into policies, which even now, are having devastating consequences for Muslims all over the world. I have seen firsthand the damage such misperceptions are causing among non-Muslim family, friends, and associates, and I have also seen how welcome clarifying words are.

Managing Perceptions is from the Prophetic Character

As for managing perceptions of the religion, ask yourself a couple of questions. Why did the Prophet (peace upon him) announce that a woman walking with him was his wife, Safiyya bint Huyayy? Why did he resume praying for deceased debtors? In the first instance he did not want people to think that the moral character of the Messenger of God (peace upon him) was flawed in any way, as that would have devastating implications for the integrity of the entire religion. In the second instance he did not want people to think that he abandoned his Companions at the time of their deaths. There are numerous incidents of this sort that illustrate the ways in which the Prophet (peace upon him) managed the public perception of himself, his community and his message. Hence, working to ensure that people view Islam in the most positive light is from the prophetic way (Sunnah).
Again, when there is a machine in place that wants to create extremely negative perceptions of Islam and Muslims, we do not have the luxury of remaining silent. A well-known marketing principle states, “Unchallenged perceptions become reality.” We should not even wait until there is some odious, headline-grabbing attack before we begin speaking up to define our reality. It should be an ongoing process. Hence, far from becoming frustrated and refusing to challenge the memes that are accentuated in the aftermath of attacks such as those in Orlando, Florida, we know what those memes are and we should be relentless in attacking them on a constant, ongoing basis.

It Is A Religious Duty

As for the condemnation of criminal actions, we are commanded by our Prophet (peace upon him), “Whoever among you sees a vile action, then let him change it with his hand; if unable to do so, then with his tongue (condemn it); if unable to do so then let him hate it in his heart, and that is the lowest level of faith.” What could be viler than a Muslim (nominal or not) committing mass murder against unsuspecting people at a time when this country, in fact the world, is celebrating the life of an American Muslim hero –Muhammad Ali? I do not know who is calling the shots of criminals like Omar Mateen, I serious doubt if they are Muslim, but, God-willing, I will condemn those crimes as long as they continue to occur. May Allah protect us.
Follow Imam Zadi Shakir on Facebook and visit his blog, New Islamic Directions.

Resources for seekers

Lilian’s Story: Why SeekersHub Is More Addictive than Facebook

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”Give the best charity this Ramadan. ” h2_font_container=”font_size:32|color:%23dd3333″ h2_use_theme_fonts=”yes” h4=”Help SeekersHub spread the beautiful message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to millions worldwide. Give your zakat or sadaqa today.” h4_font_container=”font_size:18|color:%23444444″ h4_use_theme_fonts=”yes” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Donate Now” btn_color=”success” btn_size=”lg” btn_i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1465580314934{background-color: #efefef !important;}” btn_add_icon=”true” btn_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fseekershub.org%2Fdonate%2F|||” use_custom_fonts_h2=”true” use_custom_fonts_h4=”true” btn_custom_onclick=”true”][/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tumultuous doesn’t even begin to sum up Lilian Kane’s life over the last few months. She embraced Islam in September and shortly after, found herself struggling to save her nascent marriage.

It was the hardest time of my life because I separated from my husband in really difficult circumstances. Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra advised me a lot over email and he later introduced me to sister Humera Khan and a couple of people from SeekersHub in London for support.”

The introduction to SeekersHub wasn’t out of the blue for Lilian.

I don’t think I was even Muslim when SeekersHub came up in a google search. I was looking for answers on Islam online – very dangerous, by the way, because a lot of what I read made me extremely uncomfortable. SeekersHub is different – it addressed my doubts as a soon-to-be Muslim – about hijab and niqab, without throwing Islamic tradition under the bus.”

Lilian embraced Islam and within a month, took a SeekersHub course on The Absolute Essentials on Islam, a 12-part explanation of the fundamentals of the religion that all believers are obligated to know and practice: beliefs, purification, prayer, zakat and fasting.

It was amazing to have it systematically explained to me. There is so much Islamic information out there but when you look for sources that are wholistic,  well-organised, reliable and clear, they are few and far between.”

Reading Answers from scholars soon became addictive for Lilian – “It’s up there with Facebook”, she adds with a laugh. SeekersHub was accessed by almost 2 million people worldwide last year but Lilian took it to the next level.

I made an impulsive decision to buy a plane ticket and fly out to the SeekersHub retreat in Toronto this year and that…that was nothing short of a revelation for me.”

“I was so alone when I arrived.”

retreat
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, founder and head of SeekersHub had been given the heads up so he, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and the rest of the team sought Lilian out at the retreat.

I was so alone when I arrived. I didn’t even have to ask for them. They found me on the first day and I spent the rest of the retreat enveloped in kindness. Their love of Allah is manifested clearly in the way they serve others. My mother is non-Muslim and she can see how it’s all affected me. She’s really pro-Hub.”

Lilian has had a unique insight into the workings of SeekersHub, which can seem like a faceless online organisation in the global marketplace of “Islamic media”.

The SeekersHub team is surprisingly small. I still can’t believe how much they achieve online and on the ground given their size. They seem to be driven by a selflessness that is unusual in this day and age. The effect of that on the lives of people like me is enormous.”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”Help us reach more seekers like Lilian. ” h2_font_container=”font_size:32|color:%23dd3333″ h2_use_theme_fonts=”yes” h4=”Support SeekersHub to spread the beautiful message of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to millions worldwide. Give your zakat or sadaqa today.” h4_font_container=”font_size:18|color:%23444444″ h4_use_theme_fonts=”yes” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Donate Now” btn_color=”success” btn_size=”lg” btn_i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-credit-card-alt” css_animation=”left-to-right” css=”.vc_custom_1465578834151{background-color: #e5e5e5 !important;}” btn_add_icon=”true” btn_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fseekershub.org%2Fdonate%2F|||” use_custom_fonts_h2=”true” use_custom_fonts_h4=”true” btn_custom_onclick=”true”]It is our mission is to help each and every Muslim connect with the life changing guidance of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Help us #GiveLight to millions worldwide by giving your zakat or sadaqa this Ramadan.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

What Motivates Someone To Avoid Food And Drink For So Many Hours? Imam Khalid Latif

What seems like hours on end without food and water;  days and nights in continuous worship and restraint…what are the motivating factors of Ramadan? Why take part in it? What do I get out of it? And how do I sustain it?

Join Imam Khalid Latif on an introspective exploration on the meanings and motivations behind Ramadan, its nature, illuminations and nurturing their sustainability in our daily lives.

Resources for Seekers:

 

Cover Photo by Nikhil Singh. We are grateful to ICNYU for this video.

The Oneness Of Love – Key Points From SeekersHub Toronto Retreat 2016

Click here to view ‘The Oneness Of Love’ photo gallery.

There comes a point in your life when you realize that the status quo isn’t working anymore, and that it’s time for change._MG_0486

This year’s retreat was phenomenal because it helped me do just that. In a blessed environment surrounded with blessed company, taught blessed knowledge by blessed teachers, change felt not just right but attainable with the help of Allah.

Maybe you wanted to come to the retreat but couldn’t, or maybe you were there and would like a review. In any case, here are some key points from each scholar.
_MG_0400Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa

  • Our salawat will reach the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) — no matter what space, time, and state we are in.
  • Our actions are the by-products of
    love.
  • When you recite the basmala, you’re seeking refuge from all bad things — not just specifically the Shaitaan.
  • We are all carriers of unhealed trauma, and we begin to understand the world through them. This leads to stress, anxiety, and mistrust of others.

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan_MG_0380

  • The ticket to success and removal of challenges is making your parents happy so that they make du’a for you.
  • There is absolutely nothing that we can do to repay our parents.
  • By showing good character, even the people opposed to us will eventually love us.

Habib Hussein as-Saqqaf

  • When you approach the prayer, feel the same joy you feel when you see a phone call from faraway parents.
  • If Allah gave you all this—the sun, the moon, senses, health—how can’t you want to work on knowing Him?
  • When we pray, we should stand with the One who envelopes us in love and care.

Ustadha Shehnaz Karim

  • Thinking that we are doing our actions-including our ibadat-on our own brings us so much stress
  • The “Rahman” means the One who unconditionally loves all of creation, even those who don’t believe in Him.
  • We need to examine our comprehension of love: it is inspired by Him, for Him.
  • Allah is the only one who can encompass you and fulfill you in every way, because He is the only one who knows everything about you.

Ustadha Shireen Ahmed

  • UntitledThe Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) expressed love in many ways. One of the ways was to be patient with those who wanted something from him. If he couldn’t help them directly, he would find someone who could.
  • When you make another person happy, thank Allah for the opportunity and realize that it wasn’t you who did it; He blessed you with the chance.
  • People never forget the ones who stuck with them during hard times.
  • Many communities are rife with gossip, labeling, and a lot of negativity. This is a really sad situation for Muslims to be in. If we all implemented Prophetic character, things would be a lot better.

Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

  • The greatest weapon Muslims have is smiling.
  • After this retreat, commit to implementing at least one small, consistent habit in your daily life. Otherwise, we risk not changing at all from this experience._MG_0063
  • We have the greatest blessings; Allah, His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and the greatest door to salvation, which is Islam.
  • Imam al-Haddad said that nothing done through Allah is hard, and nothing done by yourself is easy.
  • The relationship we have with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is a real and live one. When we send salawat on him, they are presented to him by name. On the Day of Judgement, he will recognize you (Allah bless him and give him peace).
  • We are an Ummah connected in amazing ways. 
  • For every bad habit you leave, implement a sustainable good one.
  • We need to wake up every morning intending to spread light.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani_MG_0926

  • Love begins with knowledge, and seeking knowledge is an expression of that love.
  • If you love, you need to make sure that your actions are beloved.
  • Intention is transformative. It’s important to make good intentions.
  • Our faith isn’t some idol of token traditions that we embrace; it’s how we truly turn to the Lord of Creation.
  • We express our need and love for Allah through our life, seeking to please Him.
  • Even your career should be chosen out of love for Allah; what’s most pleasing to Him is what’s most beneficial to Creation. Every moment of work should be a means of getting closer to Allah.

Final Counsel_MG_1185
Ustadh Amjad Tarsin: Be mindful of Allah and have good character.
Shaykh Abdurragmaan: If bringing happiness to another believer brings us so much reward, what about giving happiness to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) by having good deeds for him to see?
Shaykh Hamdi Ben Aissa: If you think good of others, you will have the good of both worlds. Then keep your eyes shut, because it’s none of your business.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani: Those who strive for Allah by having a good intention will be guided.
Ustadha Shireen Ahmed: Strive to better yourself, be a different person than the one that stepped off that bus by turning to Allah with utmost sincerity.
Ustadha Shehnaz Karim: Practice the remembrance of Allah. Breathe in with the certainty of love, breathe out with gratitude.
_____________________________________________________________

The SeekersHub Toronto Retreat is an annual program held at campsites in Ontario, Canada. Teachers from around the world are invited to spend several days teaching, counseling, and spending time with students in an uplifting, natural environment.
Help SeekersHub continue to give light to communities around the world through programs like the annual retreat. Become a monthly supporter, give your zakat, or give a one-time donation today:
http://seekershub.org/donate/
Click here to view ‘The Oneness Of Love’ photo gallery.

Did you miss the Retreat in Toronto? You don’t want to miss this.

Missed the Retreat? Don’t miss this.

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan of South Africa will be teaching at SeekersHub Toronto on May 24th at 7.30 PM EST.  You can attend either in person or stream live online. 
Join Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, as we discuss the need to call to Allah, and develop learned communities.
We will discuss the importance of these communities in the West, and how current issues can be overcome by the light of traditional knowledge.
You will learn how YOU can actively participate in this movement, by playing your part in spreading and giving Prophetic Light, and helping make positive change in the world.
Watch this video below, where Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan advises students about renewing intentions before the SeekersHub Toronto Retreat.
post retreat event

Learn To Live: A 30 Day Program in God’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

God’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

God’s Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation: SeekersHub Toronto is offering a 30-day intensive course – also available live online – which will reconnect you with the Qur’an and make you fall in love with Allah Most High’s miraculous revelation again.

Shaykh-Walead-Mosaad

Shaykh Walead Mosaad

This year, the Ramadan program is being organized around the theme of “Learn to Live”, which will see us explore Mercy during the first 10 days, Forgiveness during the second 10 days, and Salvation in the last 10 days.
During each third of the month we will focus on what the Qur’an teaches us on each of these matters with a focus on concepts, stories and practical spiritual action.

Teaching the course will be  Shaykh Walead Mosaad, Shaykh Muhammad Mendes, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, and others.
Daily programs will include tarawih prayers at the beautiful new SeekersHub Toronto, with master of Qur’anic recitation Qari Hafidh Abdullah Francis from Cape Town, South Africa.

Shaykh-Muhammad-Mendes-Ustadh-Abdul-Aziz-Suraqah

Shaykh Muhammad Mendes (left)

You are also welcome to join us for a communal iftar or even sponsor a meal for a 100+ people. Just email [email protected] for details.
Stay tuned for more information in the upcoming weeks, and make SeekersHub Toronto #YourRamadanHub.

How is the Prophetic Example (Sunnah) Relevant?

How is the Prophetic example (sunnah) relevant and how do you apply it in your daily life? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explains over this four-part lesson.

Did you know there are sunnahs of drinking coffee and sunnahs of going shopping? Find out more in this class conducted by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani as part of The Muslim Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto Fall 2014 Semester roster of classes.

  1. What is the Sunnah?
  2. Practical Examples of how the Sunnah can be applied in our everyday lives?
  3. Prophetic Sunna in our critical relationships.
  4. The Sunnah of applying the Sunnah

Listen to them all here.


Sunnah relevant

Resources for seekers

Cover photo by Felix Weizman.

VIDEOS: Worship, Coffee and the Meaning of Life

The April Focus on Seminar, held at SeekersHub Toronto, carried a very special and unique theme, connecting the simple substance of coffee to the ultimate meaning of life. Watch the whole seminar below!

The Purpose of Life in a Cup of Coffee. Shaykh Yahya Rhodus sheds light on how the meaning of life from an Islamic perspective links to all one’s moments in life. He then explains how coffee could perceived through living a life of meaning.

The History of Islam and Coffee. Sidi Abdul-Rehman Malik delves deep into the history and emergence of coffee in the Islamic world. He tells a story of how coffee weaved into the Islamic tradition and then spread to the world and partook in the religious, social, economic and political historical events.

Coffee is a Means to Meanings. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani looks at how coffee relates to meanings in life. He explains that it is only through purpose that coffee could be a means to meanings of life like sincerity, love and gratitude.

Intentions: Coffee and Beyond. Shaykh Yahya focuses on the importance of having intentions for all actions so that even the mundane becomes great. He gives advice on how to make and build our intentions for all actions.

Worship, Coffee and the Meaning of Life Q&A. Shaykh Yahya Rhodus and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answer some questions that relate to coffee and finding meaning in life.

Cover photo by Yasmeen

Resources for Seekers on Worship, Coffee and the Meaning of Life

Coffee, Worship and the Meaning of Life

If I ever shied away from coffee for worldly reasons, I embraced it for spiritual reasons, never realizing that it would point me to the meaning of life.

“The first time that you drink coffee because of caffeine, it’s slightly euphoric.”said Shaykh Yahya Rhodus.  I distinctly remembered the first time I drank coffee. I’d never liked the taste before, and, for some reason, was always proud that I was a tea-drinker rather than a coffee drinker.

I distinctly remember the pre-dawn atmosphere during last year’s SeekersRetreat. We stumbled to the hall alongside immense pine trees that blended with the darkness of the lake, lapping away in the cool blue darkness. The hall was emulating both physical and spiritual light to the whole campsite. It was a feeling I could never describe properly, with so many other Muslims reciting the Wird al-Latif with Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, chaplain at the University of Toronto.  It was like getting light beamed straight to my heart.

Light or not, I was still exhausted. Having a history of succumbing to physical upheaval at instances of disturbed sleep patterns, changed day scheduled, and diet changes, I wasn’t feeling my best physically, was feeling exhausted and sick physically and was afraid that I’d have to sit out on a session or two for fear of falling asleep during class, displaying atrocious adab and thereby slamming more than a few metaphysical doors against myself.

My only solution was coffee. Hesitantly, I approached the percolator, poured myself a cup, drowned it in sugar and cream, and braced myself for the impact.

meaning of life

To my surprise, it wasn’t bad. Not only that, it was like my body was getting poured with energy. My drowsiness and the accompanying dull headache began to slowly fade away. Not only that, but another rigorous day of classes seemed actually possible.

Back then, I didn’t know what markahah was, but this was my first taste of it.

Worship, Coffee, and the Meaning of Life

“The smallest of things have great meaning.” Shaykh Faraz Rabbani introduced the seminar, held at the new location of SeekersHub Toronto.

That explained a lot, as I was wondering about the connection between coffee and the meaning of life. After the retreat ended and my first semester of college had begun, I’d grown used to the many uses of coffee in an academic setting: as a wake-me-up before early classes, an appetite suppressant during the later ones, as a treat after exams.

But then I began my internship and went from purchasing my coffee from the campus’s Tim Hortons, to getting it from a non-profit affordable café in one of the sketchier, downtown parts of a Canadian city close to my new office.

I still didn’t really know good coffee from bad, but all of a sudden, removed from the company of generally well-to-do, educated people on campus, and instead forced to stand in a line with the poverty-stricken, the homeless, the fragments of broken families, not to mention a fair few drug dealers and gang members, made me think.

Was it really about coffee? What about the world around me, and the pain that flowed through it? Was there any way to connect them?

And most importantly, what was I supposed to do about it?

Coffee: A Spiritual Ritual

Shaykh Yahya Rhodus began the seminar speaking first a little bit about the origins of coffee in Yemen, and how it spread through the regions to become a part of spiritual tradition. For example, there would be duaas composed, to be recited while preparing coffee. These duaas would include prayers for not just the ones who had grown the coffee, the ones who would drink the coffee, and the ones living in Yemen, but extended to include all the Muslims throughout time. This way, a mundane and everyday task-making coffee-became a spiritual connection to Allah, His Messenger, and all of humanity.

Coffee was used as a substance to help with worship, when people’s aspirations were low. Coffee was considered a blessing, he continued, because it was served to the people who would wake up a couple hours before Fajr to pray Tahajjud, causing Imam al-Haddad to say that Shaitaan would run away when the coffee cups started to jingle in the morning, because it meant that the people would be energized by it and not as easy to tempt.

It was the quality that these people had, that made something as simple as coffee, into a spiritual experience. By taking something seemingly mundane casual, and linking it to prayers and worship, it made the action all the more meaningful, on a wordly and spiritual level.

For me, things were slowly beginning to make sense.

Coffee and Politics

The next session was given by Sidi Abdul Rahman Malik, currently a journalist with the BBC and Global Programs Director for SeekersHub.

“A lot of us are searching for markahah, the euphoric, sprightliness that we get from coffee.”

While tea was a strong part of his home life growing up, it was coffee that was considered something to have when outside of the house, during an outing or get-together. This made drinking coffee an occasion rather than a casual thing, something attributed to gathering and spending time with others.

This was part of the reason, he said, that coffee was banned in the 15th century in the Arabian Peninsula, and again in Cairo during the Mamluk dynasty, because it encouraged people to engage with each other, share ideas, and converse actively, thereby creating a potential for political rebellion.

meaning of life

So coffee had come from a simple drink to fuel for revolution.

Coffee, Consumerism, and a Believer’s Ethical Concern

But how did coffee connect to the meaning of life?

The seminar turned serious as Shaykh Faraz gave us a reality check.

“Who is selling us the coffee? What conditions do they harvest it? How much are the workers paid? Who cares? A believer cares!”

He went on to remind us that much of the modern consumer culture was creating a massive effect of horror and pain around the world.

Many of us choose to turn a blind eye at the companies using our desire for a constant stream of new clothing, exotic foods, and the latest technology gadgets, profiting off the blood, sweat, and tears of the grossly underpaid workers procured to service them. Not only that, but multinational companies often destroy poorer countries’ industries that are run at the local level. He gave the example of Nestle, which destroyed Pakistan’s milk industry. Using their multi-billion dollar funds, they were able to invest in advertising, as well as offer their products at a much lower cost than the locals did. When they had monopolized the industry and ousted the local farmers and shopkeepers, they raised their prices much higher—and left a country dependent on outsourcing its dairy from Nestle.

This is only one of countless parts of their lives that a believer needs to be careful about. From sweatshop clothing producers to smartphone-and-tablet factories, we need to look beyond these seemingly everyday choices, and make an effort to seek Allah in them.

“Our ethical concern isn’t just because we’re a bunch of hippies. Buy things that you know are pleasing to Allah.”

Even if it made things a little more complicated and expensive, that could be solved by simply training the self to desire less.

“Make those choices meaningful, you’ll find meaning in it.”

In essence, meaning is what we all are searching for. Consumerism is just us getting sidetracked.

From the Mundane to the Experiential

Shaykh Yahya’s second session tied everything together perfectly.

“Make the mundane spiritual, you will have a constant experience with the Divine.”

He referenced Imam Ghazali’s book The Beginning of Guidance, which outlines how to live one’s life as productively as possible, fulfilling all one’s obligations to the Creator and creation. The book contains a vast amount of duaas, for things as seemingly mundane as putting on clothes in the morning. When these duaas are repeated on a constant basis, he explained, they begin to have an immense effect of the heart in terms of connecting with the Divine. This runs counter-intuitively to our desires, as many of our egos dislike regulation and routine, and want to jump to the next interesting thing.

Again, it’s in connecting with the mundane, that you can begin to connect with the Creator.

Coffee, Clothing, Custom…and God

Whereas I can now say that I do have a better understanding of what coffee is (and also now cannot remember the last time I got it from Tim Hortons’), I now know that that’s not the point.

In everything, there is an opportunity to connect with Allah. While people look for some sort of a “spiritual buzz,” as the only sign of a strong connection, that can be misleading. The meaning is much, much deeper.

Tomorrow, next week, and next year, I hope that everything will have a deeper meaning. Not just coffee, but my entire life.

meaning of life

Now when I cradle a cup of coffee in my hands, I will remember to pray for the ones who grew it, the ones who harvested it, and the ones who prepared it. When I seek refuge in its warmth, I will remember the ones on the street with no shelter, and pray for them too. When unintelligible shouting meets my ears, when homeless teens look at me sideways from hollowed eyes, when refugee newcomers ask me if I can speak their language, when another drug deal or robbery happens a few feet away from me…

…maybe I will be able to dig deeper, and go from witnessing the mundane to witnessing the One.

Cover photo by Maria Keays. Fire photo by Mark K. Street photo by Daniel Lobo.

Resources for Seekers

VIDEO: 5 Ways to Get Closer To Your Purpose on Earth

What is your purpose in life?

Are you still searching for answers for your purpose on Earth? Shaykh Yahya Rhodus gives this remarkably inspiring khutbah during his brief visit to Toronto, Canada, offering 5 ways to get close to Allah and His Plan for you.

Resources for seekers:

Cover photo by Dario Cogliati.