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Thursday 28th December 2017

The Gem Sessions

Introduction

The premise for the conference focused on strong general themes centering on empowering the audience though the presentation of leadership traits and through tips which can be used for re-awakening the soul of the believer. Two international speakers, Ustaadah Alima Ashfaq and Imam Suleiman ibn Hani, were used to deliver interactive presentations, motivational talks and work-shop styled sessions for the duration of the two-day weekend.

Imam Suleiman ibn Hani is a motivational lecturer, teacher and author hailing from Dearborn, Michigan. Imam Hani completed intensive studies under both local and international scholars gaining ‘ijazat (licenses) in the six books of hadith from multiple scholars, as well as a Master of Arts degree from the College of Shari’ah, University of Jordan. Imam Suleiman is the author of one of the most popular books on the subject of memorizing Qur’an – ‘114 Tips to Help You Finally Memorize Qur’an’.

Ustaadah Alima Ashfaq is a lecture and director of “I am Alima“, and “Women of Ilm”. Ustaadah Alima is currently pursuing her degree in Islamic Studies and has studied under various scholars and students of knowledge in order to gain an extra insight into Islam. Alima is currently undertaking ‘ijazah in the science of tajweed and has played active roles in various organizations throughout her studies. Ustaadah Alima has authored several books and is an avid blogger.

Highlights

Prior to commencement of the weekend conference, Imam Hani delivered the Jumu’ah sermon (khutbah) at the Nur-e-Islam Mosque in San Juan and had a live television talk show on the Islamic Broadcasting Network (IBN). Both speakers had the opportunity to launch the conference and showcase their respective books at a Public Lecture and Book Launch at the Bamboo Masjid on Friday 27th October 2017 to a packed masjid hall.

Conference – Day 1 – Leadership of the Greatest

The first day of the conference commenced with a sessions shaping and instilling tips needed to develop leadership skills through those examples taken from the first generation of Muslims and also through present-day leaders. The first session showcased one of the specialties of Imam Hani – How to memorize Qur’an. This session outlined memorization techniques, tips, benefits and showed ways of enabling the transformation of a believer’s heart through the remembrance of Allah and through developing a relationship with the book of Allah – the Qur’an.

In the second session of the day, Ustaadah Alima Ashfaq, delivered an Insight into Love and Marriage for both men and women. This session presented tips from Ustaadah Alima’s book ‘Love Unveiled’ and a special printable version of the book was made available for all attendees of the Conference.

Both speakers then presented on a joint topic dispelling imaginary and fictional superheroes in today’s World while focusing on the superheroes we should all aspire to be like – the Prophet (saw) and the giants from among his Sahaba (male and female). This session gave insight into what makes a superhero a superhero and gave examples of these giants that every Muslim should look up to.

Some of the traits of modern-day role models were pulled out from the participants in a workshop-themed session with both speakers and were then summarized in a spoken word session to close the first day of the Conference.

 Conference – Day 2 – Reawakening the Soul

Day two of the conference continued to provide key strategies where we can remain steadfast as believers in challenging times. Both speakers offered tips aimed at overcoming pain, hardships and challenges for struggles of every type. Emphasis was made on offering insight into some of the challenges being faced today by the Muslim Ummah and also specified techniques to motivate persons to continue struggling and striving in Allah’s way, while keeping one’s heart soft and firm on the basis of Imaan and taqwa.

Participants got a chance to break up into sisters-only and brothers-only sessions where critical identity issues and other crises faced by young Muslims were addressed individually and independently by both speakers. This session provided beneficial one-on-one interactive time with the speakers and allowed the participants to ask questions in an open and free environment.

A motivational session inspiring the audience to engage in activities was presented by one of the IDM Committee Members and participants were given the opportunity to work on one of the thirteen da’wah projects currently being developed by the IDM.

Two aspects needed for the transformation of one’s life was outlined in the final session of the Conference – du’a and repentance. The status, importance and etiquette of du’a in Islam and tawba or repentance was presented by both speakers as a means of cementing our relationship with Allah. This final session served as a summary for all the topics presented in the Conference and provided a means of transforming, inspiring and developing persons into true gems of the Ummah.

Fig 1: Left: Sister Alima Ashfaq. Right: Brother Suleiman Ibn Hani

FROM THE DESK OF THE AMIR

The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi) said:

إذا قامت الساعة وفي يد أحدكم فسيلة، فإن استطاع أن لا تقوم حتى يغرسها، فليغرسها

If the Hour starts to happen and in the hand of one of you is a palm shoot or seedling; then if he’s able to plant it before the Hour happens, then let him plant it”. [Ahmad and Tabaraani]

This hadeeth is about having tremendous hope and optimism in the future and it is what must hopefully inspire us to continue doing this work of da`awah fee sabeelillah, regardless of what’s happen around us.

Brothers and sisters of the IDM this is a very momentous time. As one year comes to an end and as we enter a new year we are at a critical juncture/crossroad. It is either we pick ourselves up, dust off our clothes, march forward and make history or we continue our downward slide and become history. So brothers and sisters I say to you today, let’s make history!

December last year we commemorate 30 years of the existent of the IDM. Over those years we have had our ups and downs but as we go forward it is my belief that our better days are still ahead of us, inshaa Allah. Looking forward to and counting on your continuous effort, help, support and duas to do our duty to grow and expand this Islamic work of da`awah.

Your brother in Deen

Idris

Friday 22nd December 2017

IDM OFFERS RELIEF TO VICTIMS OF CLIMATIC DISASTER

The Islamic Dawah movement (IDM) in our effort to once again fulfil our responsibility to our Muslim brothers and sisters have contributed donations to Muslims affected by natural and human disasters. Towards this end a decision was taken that all the money raised by the auction in our annual fund-raising dinner which was held on Saturday 30th September, during the Islamic Awareness Month, will be donated towards these disaster relief efforts. As a result $5,000 was donated locally towards the post-flooding relief effort in South Trinidad, $3000TT was donated towards the Rohingyas of Myanmar, $5000TT was donated to the Muslims of Anguilla, and $10,000TT to the Muslims of Dominica.

The Amir, Brother Idris Muhammad, stated that “as Muslims of Trinidad and Tobago, we belong to the Nation of Islam which includes every single Muslim. To that extent, we have a responsibility to assist of our brothers and sisters locally, regionally and internationally in their time of need. While making dua for them is a necessity and is required we must also at the same time strive to assist them materially as far as possible. We owe it to Allah and to ourselves as an organisation to assist our brothers and sisters in any way we can both spiritually and materially”.

It is said that roughly tens to hundreds of people die every year from hurricanes while hundreds to thousands of people are negatively affected by them, including injuries and loss of or damage to property. In Trinidad and Tobago during the period of 1990 to 2014, mortality rates due to flooding were 28.5% of the total mortality rate due to disasters while economic losses due to flooding were 4.3%. This s how much of an effect flooding alone has on our human resources. Mortality from storms and inclement weather occurred at 2.4% while economic losses were at 27.0%. Since both of these events usually occur together, we can combine both sets of numbers and see for ourselves the reality of our situation. Since no single person or group of persons can control or prevent any natural disaster from occurring, we as the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) can assist with our prayers and our physical and material resources.

In the future we can expect the frequency and severity of natural disasters to increase. As such we in the IDM fully intend to assist in relief efforts that may arise out of these disasters in any and every way we possibly can. At the IDM we believe that helping our brothers and sisters is just as much our duty as calling the people to Allah and enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. Therefore we call on you and encourage you to give and continue to give your sadaqah, zakaah, time and effort towards this cause.

DOING THE DA’WAH, ISLAMIC AWARENESS MONTH OCTOBER 2017

The month of October was kicked off with The IDM’s Islamic Awareness Month 2017. In fact it actually began at the end of September (30th) with our annual charity fund raising dinner. It was indeed a month of many blessings and wonderful opportunities that truly demonstrated how much a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood can bring great minds together, that build on each others’ ideas and suggestions.

With activities such as tree planting, anti crime walk, da’wah package distributions, call in radio programme, da’wah training workshop, medical clinic, da’wah walkabouts and a conference, the minds and the hearts of the Muslims of the IDM were deeply engaged in raising our sense of Eeman/Iman (faith) together in socially friendly and fun environments.

Anticrime Demonstration

It was a cool and peaceful Saturday afternoon when the anti crime walk was demonstrated at the Queens Park Savannah (QPS) in Port of Spain, Trinidad. There were 3 groups of demonstrators that day; one being a charity 5k organised by Guardian Life, another being an international silent demonstration against child abuse and abduction, the third being the IDM’s Anticrime and Antiviolence walk. Indeed, the QPS was teeming with life and if only one couldn’t see what was taking place, the words and the energy would be enough to lift the hearts of any soul.

Fig 2: IDM Anticrime Demonstration

Tree Planting

Upon the Hills of St. Anns, Port of Spain, the IDM members gathered in their numbers to assist in the reforestation of Trinidad by planting new trees. Both children and adults alike, trekked up the slopes with plants in hand ready to leave their mark on natures face. It was a socially interactive event that served to promote awareness of nature conservation and to improve the ties of brotherhood amongst believers. With some mild rainfall, once could only expect some degree of slipperiness to the earth but indeed most persons suffered no injury or damage.

Fig 3: Treeking up the slopes

All of the events were considered successful in different ways and even though the level of attendance was not as great as desired, the messages were sent loud and clear impacting many of the lives that stood amongst us. As a nation of believers we are prone to forgetting our creator and ourselves and the reminders that are given help us to find our hearts and guide our souls back to where they belong, on the straight and narrow path to Allah.

NEW DA’WAH INITIATIVES SET TO INCREASE REVERSION RATE

The Islamic Dawah Movement has one main objectives under which all other goals and missions fall, this is to provide Da’wah in the most effective manner that will win hearts and souls for Allah, by Allah’s help and permission.

As societies change with time, newer generations of people are learning and progressing in different ways, for example: the increasing trends of audio visual education, dependence on the internet for resource allocation and fast-paced lifestyles. We cannot change these processes and as such we needed to find new ways of capturing peoples’ attention and holding it long enough to peak their interests, Allah then either opens their hearts or leaves it be, He knows best.

The Da’wah committee generated a list of projects that would steer the IDM into the new frontier with innovations that would permit more successful reversion/conversions rates. Activities such as: Da’wah Hotline with 24/7 support, engaging Jamaats to become involved in giving Da’wah to their communities, television series for non muslim tv stations, Da’wah caravan for street da’wah type events, usage of the media for demonstrating Islam’s stance on themed international days, and more.

The aim is to increase the number of reverts to Islam with each passing year. One of the challenges faced in the past and still yet to rear its head again is the problem of adequate human resources. During current times it is very difficult to ascertain a consistent effort from the presenting generations of muslims. People have grown more lazy in their attitudes toward proactivity in Islamic work and education, they have also become more absorbed in the life of this world in general, minimising any dedicated time to progressing in their deen. This has caused a detrimental loss to execution of projects in the recent past and we fear that it may happen in the future as well.

The IDM is however, dedicated to getting the right message out to the people and leaving a lasting impression on their hearts and souls. With Allah’s help, any endeavour can be achieved successfully and we strongly believe that Allah will not abandon us in our attempts to change the world. We hope that people like you will offer of your time and energy to help spread this deen of Allah and therefore we extend our invitation to you, join us with your hearts and souls, and let us grow together towards pleasing our Creator and Sustainer.