So I Went to the Fair

This past weekend I attended the International Islamic Fair in Kuala Lumpur.

I’m not sure just how international the entire fair was because I could only afford to visit the exhibitions. The conference fee was over my budget. Maybe next year, inshallah.

In any case, the fair was worth the LRT and taxi fares for me because I did have the opportunity to find out about a few products:

• Kuih Kapit & a powdered ginger drink mix (which can also be used for baking)
Active Attire (swimsuits for Muslim men, women, kids and teens)
• Arabic Language Centre (It’s in the Sri Ukay,Ampang section of Kuala Lumpur but associated with the SIAL institute in Sana’a,Yemen)
One Islam Productions, spe
cifically their One4Kids product line (I bought the VCD pictured below)

What was really special about visiting the fair this weekend is that I got to meet three sisters I’d befriended online just a few months earlier. All three are Malaysian published authors. For me, they represent one of the things I really appreciate about Malaysia. Allow me to introduce you to them in my next post, inshallah tomorrow.

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Khutbah – Brooklyn Style

Living in South Asia for the past four years, having the opportunity to hear a live khutbah has been quite rare. I can take a ten minute taxi ride to the nearby international Islamic university to catch an English khutbah but it just doesn’t do for me what the old masjid taqwa khutbas did. When Imam Siraj wasn’t in town, there was another brother to hold up the fort.

He’s got a few lectures posted on You Tube.

So if you’ve never heard a Bed Stuy flavoured khutbah, why not give it a try.

No matter how you slice it, it all comes up ISLAM.

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A Step Towards a Neglected Duty

Whether you are the only Muslim in your family in a society where you often come into contact with non-Muslims, if you truly believe in the beauty of Islam, how can you go without inviting others to this way of life? How can you call yourself a true servant of Allah if you don’t love mankind enough to want for them what you have been blessed to have for yourself?

Where do you stand on the issue of da’wah?

Maybe you know you ought to give it, but haven’t got a clue what approach do you take.

I have feared giving da’wah for most of my Muslim life because someone I gave da’wah to when I was a new Muslim myself, did not accept it sincerely and never truly came to Islam. (Her husband didn’t surrender so even though she recited the shahada, she never followed through). I hadn’t the confidence to commit such a failure again and felt so ignorant about the procedure of inviting a person to Islam that I dared not to approach it again.

When I received a flyer in my email about a da’wah seminar I thought to myself, now is the time for me to throw off the excuses and face this responsibility head on.
The speakers were to be converts from various faiths. It was being held at UIA which is very near my home on a day which I had not planned anything yet, so I had no excuse but to attend.

After spending about 30 minutes trying to locate the auditorium, we finally arrived about an hour into the first session। I was disappointed when I realized none of the lectures would be given in English but I stayed for the whole day and benefited from the translations given by my friend. There was also literature provided in English.

While I didn’t gain all that I had hoped for, what I did get was a bit of insight into Hinduism and various beliefs found amongst the Chinese. In fact, we looked at the similarities between those faiths and Islam to the extent that speakers pointed out how the original message of some faiths has been altered so much that most adherents would not realize how much their original faiths share with Islam. Since I don’t intend to remain in Malaysia, one might say that this is not of use. However, what it did provide for me was some idea of how important it is to understand the historical beliefs of the people one is trying to give da’wah to.

How can we inform them when we are not informed about what they already know?
It’s just like when I prepare to teach an English class. I can’t even begin to plan the lesson if I don’t know how proficient they are in English and it helps a great deal to know that their previous language learning experiences have been.

I would like to be able to give da’wah to those I have shared most of my life with, people who are everything from agnostic to seemingly devout Christians. The seminar did manage to spark some enthusiasm in me. I’m more confident about exploring ‘their world” in an effort to invite them to explore mine. I don’t intend to convert anyone. I now see da’wah as an effort to inform then leave the rest to Allah. May Allah give those I inform the hidayah he blessed me with so many years ago. Alhamdulillah! What a blessing indeed. Mashallah!

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