As promised long time ago (sorry about the delay), here are some inputs I gained from Yasmin Mogahed’s (YM) lectures attended last June. There were 3 talks altogether, the first 2 lectures were part of the Being Me Conference whilst the third one was held the next day at UM.
1.Free From All Other Masters, Empowering Women
Honestly, I can’t really concentrate on the first talk coz that was the first one in the morning, where my son was still adjusting with the place and the sound system man keep on repairing the TV in our baby room. So I didn’t really get to jot down notes.
One thing I remembered the most though about empowering women is about the female magazines. Those magazines that may makes you feel too fat, ugly, or that makes you want to buy more handbags and make ups – those are all is the OPPOSITE of empowering. It’s actually makes you a slave, to consumerism amongst others. Allah created woman beautiful as it is, and we should not let these external factor makes us feel inferior in any way. Unlike YM, I’m not good with vocabulary so I just can’t elaborate more here without notes. You can check her website though – it’s full with insightful lectures:).
Thus I’m just going to elaborate on the second topic and the 3rd one will be in another entry, don’t want this to be too long and bore you readers.
2.The Greatest Love of All, Do We Love Allah Most?
Summing up the main points:
A. There are two places for you to hold things, namely: i) in your heart; and ii) in your hands.
B. The ONLY thing that you can hold in your heart is Allah. All other things (parents, spouse, boyfriend, children, money) must be hold in your hands. Coz they are gifts to you, not yours.
C. So when the gifts are taken, the loss creates pain to the hand—but not to the heart. The pain of the hand is not like the pain of the heart. The pain of the heart is to lose an object of attachment & dependency.
D. On the other hand, the pain of the hand is also pain—but different. Its not something we are dependent upon. When a gift is taken out of the hand—or never given at all—we will feel the normal human pain of loss. We will grieve. We will cry. But the pain is only in the hand; our heart remains whole and beating. This is because the heart is only for God. God alone.
E. Hence, when your heart is filled with remembrance to solely Allah, it will be easy to perform ibadah. She said for example like a wife, she will happily cook for her husband coz she loves him and wants to please him. It just comes naturally. That’s how it should be for us if we fully love Allah. We will easily wake up for subuh or tahajud if we love Allah, if we are aware in our heart that Allah is waiting for us to pray to Him. Like when you have a dinner date with your husband, and you know he’s waiting at a restaurant. Surely you’ll get in your best dress and hurry up right.
F. But some people love the gift more than the giver. Including me:(.
Her simple yet insightful talk made me think over and over again. It has changed my view of love, and of life. Before, I never see myself as a material person. Never have the feeling to be a millionaire, with nice cars and big bungalows. Well I do shop, but I don’t put my designer handbags in my heart of course haha. But what YM had made me realised is that I’m in love with other human beings.
I do love Allah, but my husband, my son, my mom, my friends –all of them are in my heart, too. Not in my hands. By the way, didn’t we sing songs like “I’ll never break your heart”, and wrote love poems like “forever in my heart”? YM made me realise not only handbags are material things, but husband, parents, children, friends — all of them are part of dunya, too. There are all gifts from Allah. Hence it can be taken. No wonder I used to broke down and cried when my friend bitching about me. I’ve misplaced them. I wondered how to relocate them from the heart to the hands?
Alhamdulilah someone asks her a similar question during Q&A, on how to have a proper detachment to this. She said, we need to always remember in our heart that:
-The ONLY thing that I cannot live without is Allah.
-Everything else that you love become FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH.
-Marrriage is a MEAN to ALLAH.
-Your responsibilities in the world (as wife, mother,etc) — all are all means to be CLOSER to ALLAH.
InsyaAllah these will help us to detach them from the heart to the hands, its rightful place.
I dig more from her website. There are so many insightful articles, alhamdulilah. These are the two that most relevance to this topic:
I found her insights are really helpful and has helped me so much. Hope it will benefit you too insyaAllah.