Knowledge without Barriers

Help Take Sacred Knowledge to the Ends of the Earth with a Donation this Ramadan

It’s been a busy past few weeks! I’ve been teaching a 3-week class on menstruation based on the Shafi’i school of thought, which has been a fantastic opportunity to revise, teach, and learn new things from my students. There’s nothing like curly questions based on real-life scenarios.

Donating to Knowledge without Barriers is a way of supporting students around the globe, including teachers like me. Please give what you can to support students of knowledge around the world! They don’t only learn, but  also benefit the communities they live in by transforming knowledge into action.

Knowledge without Barriers has given me the opportunity to study courses like the Prophetic biography (Meccan Dawn and Medinan Nights) and deepen my understanding of Shafi’i fiqh (Islamic Law For Seekers: Worship (Shafi’i)).

Although most of the courses have ended for this semester, an available course is a reading of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulumideen. The course is taught by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Check out the Academic Calendar to see when Registration opens next (Dec 9 2013) and when courses begin (Jan 6 2014). I’d personally recommend all the courses I’ve done, including the course on marriage.

 

“The Middle Way – Avoiding Extremes” SeekersConversation is tonight! Discussions on #westgate

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Join us tonight 7:30 pm, at SeekersHub Sydney for a night of riveting discussion with guest speaker Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Imam Afroz Ali! Our centre is located at 299 Belmore Road, Riverwood.

Teaser questions for tonight:

  • How can you explain all the ‘extreme’ behaviour erupting all over the Muslim world, as well as in Muslim communities in the West?
  • Some claim that the term ‘moderate Muslim’ is apologist and irrelevant, because all Muslims ought to be moderate. Do you agree or disagree?
  • What are your thoughts on Westgate Mall massacre in Kenya?

I’m looking forward to audience participation, so bring your questions and join in during Q&A time!

Join our SeekersConversation this Sunday, Oct 6th!

373Free up your Sunday night and join us for another riveting SeekersConversation!

Sunday’s topic is a hotly debated one: The Middle Way – Avoiding Extremes. There’s no shortage of discussion about extremism in the world today, especially when it comes to the context of Muslims living in the Muslim world and the West. Responses vary from those who are quick to condemn Islam as being the cause of extremist behaviour, to the apologists who present a candy-floss version of Islam. I don’t support either extreme (ha), but I am open to a nuanced, balanced and genuine discussion about the causes and cures of extremism.  

I’m looking forward to facilitating a balanced discussion with our esteemed speakers, and I hope that all attendees will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the topic. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is flying all the way down from Toronto to participate in the weekend’s events, so don’t miss out on your chance to watch him in action. Joining him is Imam Afroz Ali, our teacher and the founder of Al-Ghazzali Centre, now known as SeekersHub Sydney.

Audience members, please feel free to participate in the Q&A section of the night – your questions make a great event even better. If you have any questions leading up to the event, please post your questions here.

In the spirit of fostering positive discussions to build more cohesive, open and connected communities, check out the Radical Middle Way website.

More information about Sunday’s SeekersConversation:

The Middle Way – Avoiding Extremes
With Shaykh Faraz Rabbani & Imam Afroz Ali
Facilitated by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Time: 7:30pm, 6th of October
Location: 299 Belmore Road, RIVERWOOD 2210

An evening of discussion and insight on the causes and cures of extremist behaviour, and how the community can address the crisis in education and spiritual vacuum which can produce disturbed and distorted understandings.

SeekersConversations address issues affecting our communities, discussed over light refreshments.

Cost: Free. This is part of Knowledge without Barriers (donations welcome)

Rants and male-bashing? SeekersHub Sydney says no!

969371_589803064377179_1145926861_nThere’s only a few more days to Saturday night’s event! In the spirit of encouraging more audience attendance and participation, I’d like to reassure everyone that our marriage event will not be:

1) A rant

2) Man-bashing session

3) A secret conspiracy to marry everyone off in the room (although if you do find The One there, good for you!)

What it will be, inshaAllah, is a vibrant discussion about some real issues faced by Muslims in the Sydney community. From my experience, most Muslims out there do want to settle down at some point in their lives. Everyone has different challenges in their journey towards finding their spouse – the single Muslim in his/her thirties or forties, the single parent, or the divorcee, just to name a few. We hope to bring these issues out into the open, hear what our panelists have to say, and open the floor to hear what YOU have to say.

Stay tuned for a preview of some of the questions I’ll ask the panelists on Saturday night.

Remember to register for the event by clicking here. See you there!

Essential Oils Workshop – May 26th, 6-8 pm

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If you’re interested in health and well-being, come join me at the SeekersHub Sydney Essential Oils Workshop this Sunday! This workshop is the brainchild of my sister-in-law, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the benefits of essential oils.

Being asthmatic, I generally stay away from strong scents. This means that I’m the one to sit in the back of the room (or exit completely!) when someone starts to burn strong incense or oud. I’m all for beautiful fragrances – the food of the angels, after all – but not when it triggers my asthma. I’d be interested to learn from the experts about the best way to use these essential oils when it comes to my sensitive lungs. The winter nights in Sydney are getting colder, and a holistic, natural approach to managing my asthma would help to supplement my existing asthma care plan.

I’ve had the blessing of sampling some of the fantastic oils from my sister-in-law’s selection. I must say, even my adorable 1 1/2 year old niece is enjoying them! Click here for the doTERRA website for more information about their essential oils range.

Here’s an interesting quote from the site:

Essential oils have been used throughout recorded history for a wide variety of wellness applications. The Egyptians were some of the first people to use aromatic essential oils extensively in beauty treatment, food preparation, and in religious ceremony. Frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh and cinnamon were considered very valuable cargo along caravan trade routes and were sometimes exchanged for gold.

Fascinating!

“Why Can’t We Get Married?” SeekersConversation, June 1st 2013 – my thoughts

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There you have it, ladies and gentlemen – our exciting first Sydney SeekersConversation for this year! I’ll be facilitating the event, and I’m really looking forward to talking to the panelists as well as opening up the floor for the audience. Most people have a LOT to say about marriage, so this will be interesting.  Come down and join us!

On that note, here’s a run-down of the types of people I’ve come across when it comes to marriage:

1) The Eager Puppies

They’re generally younger and filled with lovely romantic ideals about marriage and its total and utter wonderfulness. The walks along the beach, the hot chocolates by the fireplace, and – of course – the epic foot rubs. Their youth is directly correlated with the distinct lack of BAD SCARRING PAINFUL experiences when it comes to marriage.I’ll get to that category later. Some do get married. And it works out! This is cool. But unfathomable to me.

2) The Jaded

Now we’re getting to the slightly older category who are getting somewhat tired of the unsuitable suggestions from well-meaning friends (read: would THEY even consider marrying the person they’re suggesting?? Um, no!). They’re starting to get a tad weary of the whole thing, and when they are broached about a more suitable potential, hackles are initially raised, and then slowly lowered. When the right guy/girl does come along, all defenses come melting down like ice cream on a hot day. Awww.

3) The REALLY Jaded and Bitter

These are the souls who’ve had many relationship breakdowns, are getting past their supposed marital shelf-life (this varies, but 30 is apparently time to hit the panic button), or who generally have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to marriage. Said chip is about the size of a boulder. Most of them have been unfairly treated at some point in their life, but as with all things, it takes two to tango, and holding on to negativity makes it a lot harder to embrace everything else life has to offer.

Deep down, they’d like to get married too. But you didn’t hear me say that.

4) The Quietly Content

These are a really rare breed, and spotting them is equivalent to finding a kookaburra in the Sahara Desert. This is a category that transcends age, background, blood type, or even gender. Sure, they’d like to get married someday, but they’re happy where they are. Some have had failed relationships before, but they’ve gotten over that REALLY Jaded and Bitter stage, or bypassed it completely. In this Zen-like state, they actually do manage to snag a spouse. Amazing.

5) The Hopefuls

I’d like to think that most people fall in this category. The Hopefuls are our lovably flawed guys and girls who are balancing everything and worry that they’ll fall apart. Falling apart actually does happen on a regular basis, but they pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and send a silent prayer for a loving spouse who’ll complete them and all that jazz. Because they’re so darned nice, they actually stand a better chance of meeting The One. And around the time when they realise they’re already complete, Mr or Mrs Right comes sailing through the door.

6) The I’m Too Tired To Think About It

This is the category specifically for single parents, usually single mums, who are exhausted from raising kids with little or no support. Of course, child-support from ex-partner is usually non-existent. These are the people who are arguably most in need of a loving spouse, but it takes a big heart to take on a new spouse who has his/her own children. Hats off to all men and women who are brave enough to step up and marry single parents. You are heroes!