Live Deen had it’s last event on 2nd June 2013. This time the speaker was Shaikh Yaser Birjas. In my view the topic was very relevant to the situation we have in our communities today, so I was really glad that this topic was discussed.
What I really love about the speakers is that they are really passionate about teaching the people about Islam. Though the event starts early for us, for them its very late 12am + yet they would stay up and give their talks for more than 3 hours with question and answers session, but you wont find them looking sleeping or loosing track of what they said.
Shaikh Yaser Birjas started with the example of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him), when he was given the opportunity by the king of Egypt to ask anything, he asked for the position of treasurer. Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) used his expertise to create a system to save the society around him from the coming drought. With his position he was able to create a change in society and steered Egypt to a position of power even in the face of drought. What can we learn from this? If Allah (swt) has provided you with a position of power or ability, we should use it to bring positive change in your society!
He then moved on to address the youth of the community. He reminded that youth is an importnat time and as youths we will be questioned about it on the Day of Judegement. Shaikh Yaser Birjas gave an example of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), who in his youth used his intellect to show his people that the idols they worshiped could not even protect themselves. Not only that, but when he was being thrown in the fire, he had such a strong tawakkul in Allah that Allah made the fire cool for him.
He also give his example that when he came to America, he could not speak English but he went to high school and talked on Islam. Three years later a woman came and accepted Islam based on his speech! Even though he could not speak English properly, but Allah made his speech enter the heart of the woman.
One of the interesting part of LiveDeen’s events are activities between the talk. So this time we were requested to make a group of 7-10 people, introduce ourselves and discuss the problems we have in the community and what we can do to bring a positive change. I got to see that many of us knew the problems and were on the same track. The problems were listed down and given back. Shaikh Yaser Birjas said something that we should really think and work on it. He said that don’t discuss about the macro issues but discuss those that are micro; don’t discuss about corruption, political change or ideologies, rather where YOU can bring change! Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought changes that were of micro-level that led to macro-level paradigm shift.
He gives us an example: One of the biggest problem in Muslim community he sees is that there are shoes outside the masjid, not in the shoe racks but ALL over the place! The matter is not of the shoes, it is the mentality of disorder!! The day when the shoes are in the racks will be the change in mindset. The same is the case with salah. Many of us go to the masjid, pray salah in congregation and then leave. It is not about just the duty of salah, it is also a way to connect to the community. He recounts an an event where a priest came to visit their masjid. The Maghrib prayer came and as Shaikh Yaser was going to attend, the priest asked that whether he could observe the prayer. Shaikh accepted his request. After the salah was over, the priest came to Shaikh Yaser and said that he saw black, white, rich and poor all praying together and then meeting and hanging out with each other after the salah. He further said that this is the key to resolving the issues of the community!
Observations & Takeaways
I loved the activity where the audience was asked to stand up and hug the person next to him. As for my case we had a group hug🙂
Shaikh Yaser advised to take one hadith every month regarding community and society THEN implement it in your life.
And one question was asked about what was it like to study under Shaikh Uthaymeen and Shinqiti. Shaikh Yaser told that Shaikh Uthaymeen was like a father figure. And how Shaikh Shinqiti’s showed concern when Shaikh Yaser asked which major to take before he started his degree in Madinah University. I think this question I will remember🙂