Spirituality in Context
By: Hanan Seid
On October 29th, the courtyard transformed into a conference room with decoration and a stage; the theme was fall. With light hanging above, a mic and stand to prop the speaker’s words and inspire the youths minds. The schedule was jam packed with 5 hours of speakers, food, and spoken word. The rooms energy was filled with fresh minds and new helpful concepts.
The emcee for the evening was Mohammed Kibriya. The night started with a beautiful recitation of the Quran by Ali Tamimi. The stage was handed over to the first speaker Ieasha Prime whose voice sounded like thunder and her words were like lightning striking the room with her eloquent speech; everyone was paying attention. Her topic was putting spirituality in context. “Is your deen temperamental? Is it moody? Is it sometimey? Like there are some weeks I can pray all night, next month I can’t,” she said, her words resonated with all of people in the room in today’s society where everything fluctuates from trending topics to fashion to spirituality. She gave tips on how to change that; on how to keep your Iman high all year long. “When our practice is low our spirituality should always be high.”
Up next was Imam Abubaker Elgargour from Brentwood Islamic center in California. He focused on love; the idea of it in the case of spirituality. “Love is proven by our actions we can’t say we love Allah without action” he says. He brought in psychological concepts leaving the room in reflection; reminding us that striving for excellence is a simple way of showing our gratitude and our love for Allah (swt). Next was Yasmin Elhady from the D.C. area, “What is it you’re called to do?” she says, in hopes of inspiring the room filled with artists, writers, future doctors, and future rocket scientists. She emphasizes on aiming for no lower then your passion and aiming for perfection. She reminded the youth that that “the Prophet did not complain about the things that happened to him; he was building.” This reminded me of a quote by Rudy Fransisco, “it doesn’t matter if the cup is half full or half empty. There is still water in the cup, so drink it and stop complaining”. All we do as youth is complain, we’d rather create the hashtag and have someone else create the movement. Up next was Naeem Baig, a spoken word artist, who spoke a lot about the company you hold and the friends you surround yourself with, “ you put yourself in situations where temptation itches at your brain,” he said and continued to electrify the room with rhymes, slick lines, and rhythm.
Lastly Brother Ali Altimimy from Detroit whose spoke about difficulty and the importance of looking at the bright side,”difficulty is what guides you to do the next best thing.” He continued to emphasise that “difficulty can not only be bearable but be enjoyable when you experience it with Allah.” Reminding us that hard times and good times are by the will of Allah, therefore why not look to Him for answers and support. The conference room was vibrant filled with 270 people from all ages. The turnout was amazing. The room was filled with intuitive minds and strong speakers everyone left with something new to reflect on; from Iesha Prime to Ali Altimimy the 2016 youth conference was an amazing success.