Being, Believing, Belonging in 2013

1:09:00 PM

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم

Poor bloggie, lama kena tinggal.Ramai orang mengimbau semula kenangan 2013. Saya pon naklah. Tapi bila dah attempt td, dan fikir2 balik, macam banyaaak je benda nak ckp. Risau end up nnt jd draft je. Hmm. Camnilah. Kita bagi theme utk tahun 2013.

Eboo Patel highlighted from his speech; surround yourself by amazing people. Don't feel inferior. Learn and steal from them what we can. Along the way of being adults, we forgot the life skill we naturally adapted when we were kids. And we were so good at it. That is, the skill of imitating.

Tema tahun 2013 saya adalah "Be surrounded by Amazing People" - in the way of thinking and/or doing. Tema kaawan saya tahun 2014 adalah Mujahadah…macam beeest je. Nak tiru lah. Tapi tukar sket wording to Tahun Preparation. Prep3. Hish gerun sebenarnye ni. Tahun depan nak masuk era baru, inshallah for everythinglah! More reason to hold on tight to His rope. Bumpy ride ahead, eh.

1. Eboo Patel, IFYC Interfaith Leader

"Bridges don't fall from sky and they don't grow from the ground. People build bridges. So if I want to see a world that is defined by bridges that connect people of different faith, the question I have to ask myself is - How good am I at building those bridges?" 

"In being, believing and belonging means I'm responsible for my identity. How am I going to move the world? A millionth of an inch at a time." 

MSA was lucky to be part of the event organized by NIU. Eboo used to be an interfaith advisor for President Obama. Now he has his own cause called IFYC (Interfaith Youth Core). In being an interfaith advocate, he said the big thing is to appreciate. In order to function in society, we need appreciation because through this, comes respect. People forget that appreciating doesn't mean agreeing. He further imparted that we should be interfaith leaders as did Thomas Jefferson, Waraqah and Bahirah and Rasulullah SAW himself..
"(…)This takes us to a tree near Safawi in Jordan where the young Muhammed (SAW) is believed to have met with Bahira whilst travelling from Saudi with his uncle Abu Talib to modern-day Syria for trade. The trade route they would have taken across the Arabian desert means that the likely location of the meeting would have been the Jordanian desert. The meeting is particularly important as it was the first time that the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) was recognised as a prophet by the spiritual monk. After meeting Muhammed (SAW), Bahira the hermit monk tells Abu Talib to take good care of him and protect him from his enemies as he would be prophet for the end of time."
"It was a profound learning experience for me to read about Bahirah the Christian Monk who was the first to recognize Muhammad as a future prophet. My favorite part of this book were the chapter’s filled with stories of interfaith exchanges about the non-Muslims who recognized Muhammad as a Prophet even before Muhammad knew, and that they protected him when he began to show signs of being a religious leader. I’m saddened to say I didn’t learn these stories growing up in a Muslim household or even in the Islamic school I attended as a child. Furthermore, the meeting between the believers including Muhammad and the Christian King Negus again was another example of an interfaith exchange that resulted in a non-violent outcome when Negus granted them shelter in his city.  - See more at: 
Tetiba saya rasa macam penting pulak topik post kali ni bila reflek isu2 kat tanah air tercinta saya :/
Okehlah. Scratch it. Tak jadi tulis secara santai..

Prof Dr. Hafidzi from Muktamar 2013 ckp, "Kita boikot McD supaya nanti kita boleh makan McD. Boikot tu untuk memberi tekanan to the company for the cause that it supports bukan directed to the product or workers".

Macam tu jugak dengan Islam. Kita nak tegakkan Islam bukan sebab nak mansuhkan agama2 lain tapi supaya agama2 lain boleh dipraktiskan dengan aman. Supaya penganut2 agama lain juga mendapat haknya. Compare incident Fathu Makkah dengan The Crusades. Hind (wanita yg paling menyampah kat nabi semasa pembukaan kota Makkah) katakan "takda siapa yang aku paling benci semalam dan respek harini melain engkau Muhammad" sebab kebenaran baginda SAW treating them with respect of their tradition in the respective faith after the conquer of the Makkah.

There's a quote by Sh. Hamza Yusuf, when a person questioned
"Are Muslims really trying to conquer the world?"
"What we see today is the reaction of Muslims reacting/repelling/boomeranged towards those who are trying to conquer the world - the capitalists, the world order etc"
With the "caliphate" of world order, nampaklah kita oppression, exploitation sana sini because manusia is as manusia does, their have interests...and interests clash! That's why, ultimately, divine decree and divine order yang paling sound utk ditegakkan.

Saya question Mr. Patel tentang agama Bahai yang seem very pluralistic, ideal maybe for interfaith advocates. Katanya, dia appreciate ritual agama tu tapi dia tak agree bahawa ada Rasul lain (Bahailullah) selepas Rasulullah SAW. There needs to be a fine line as to how much you're tolerate. Instead of focusing on our differences, celebrate our similarities. The culmination of faith based organizations through service work. Use that thread to sew the fabric of tapestry. Memang perlu ada tapisan2 dakyah dan pemansuhan ajaran2 sesat seperti kita fitnah yg kita nampak dlm historical events of Islam right after Nabi SAW wafat. Don't fight out of inferiority if you think the other team is superseding. Do your job of conveying your idea of the truth and be upright. Kalau kita dlm badminton tournament, Takkan kita nak biarkan another team asek attack3 dan kite defend3. Isn't it about time kita pula attack dengan pemantapan aqidah, tarbiyyah dan usaha2 dakwah. Generalized sket untuk peringatan diri saya dan serba serbi yang usaha yang kita sebagai orang awam boleh lakukan.

Back to interfaith. Allah ni ada sebab hantar saya utk join NIU Interfaith meeting along with other atheists and religious community leaders, NIU outreach and campus leadership officers, although I've stepped down from MSA. Ya Allah, please3 hantarkan lebih ramai wakil Muslim selepas ni. Alhamdulillah dan inshallah, moga bermanfaat dan hikmahnya tersingkap sooner or later.

Through Eboo's speech, I started to learn to appreciate and listen to others better. Their cultures and values…and I feel less inferior and more open about exposing my identity. This comes from thinking others would appreciate my values too. Mr. Eboo Patel exchanged a look of understanding and empathy for a moment when I came to him for book signing. I'm trying to remember what it was about.  

2. Stefan Sagmeister, Designer at SagmeisterWalsh

I appreciated the prominent designer, Sagmeister's speech on Happiness from Seek Conference 2013. He's like the Einstein of design. Alhamdulillah another year of successful design conference organized by NIU VisCommies. Go team :) This year, there were numerals of TED talkers, thinkers, reformers and designers that came as our guest speakers.

Dalam dewan beliau tanya, siapa kat sini yang genuinely happy mengikut urutan 0-10. Dengan confidentnya saya angkat tangan untuk rate yg kesepuluh which then became awkward because no one else had their hand up in the hall. Oh, maybe everyone else was thinking how can you be happy while there are wars happening as we speak. Tetiba rasa bersalah pulak jd happy. What he was about to say later into in the speech was profound and made me proud, rasa izzah to be happy.

Check out minute yang ke 2:10 dlm vid Stefan Sagmeister ni. We had a long hour of his speech on Happiness but this is just as good :)

"Religious people are happier people…but I'm not religious" katanya. He said it himself what makes people happy. I owe it to Islam. Lagi2 saya bertanya, "Things have been said an done. Still, what's stopping you…" May Allah bless us with hidayah and grant us eternal bliss dunya dan akhirah. More points that came up were…

1. Thankfulness - bronze medalists are happier because they are thankful that they get anything at all compared to silver medallists who wished they had gold. 

2. Sympathetic Empathy - to love passionately lasts six months. to love compassionately  lasts forever. 

3. Think and wonder, wonder and think - it's your responsibility to be inspired. 

4. Sight and perception - get caught up in the wonder of things. Be wonderful. Be aweful…eh, awesome. Wonder in the simplest of things and think about how they work (in my case, I get lost in staring at semut…subhanallah. Such awesome creature)  

3. Saad Victor, Founder of Experince Institute

pic terlalu grainy. terpaksa guna filter yang agak pelik efeknya.
"Those days are daunting and saddening. There was a constant feeling of being too small. In dealing with education system, one day it'll drive our out of bed, other days, it'll keep you stay in bed. So, it's important to have a mind set that the other side of risk isn't failure but learning." 

"Take your ideas seriously" is what kept echoing in my head.
- Learning to risk is to be humble enough to know when you're wrong. 
- Risking to learn is to be bold enough to keep going. 

Learning to risk and risking to learn. That is Experience Institute

Meet the rest of the EI students.
the back of Saad's iphone.

3. Aaron Draplin, designer for Draplin

Branding for Obama election campaign

4. Thirst

4. Quite Strong, Creatives of Female Variety

5. Knoed, a pair of husband of wife (alumna of NIU) designer


This bunch right here had been the most critical of me. With new vision and leadership, serving MSA had never been tougher. Moga Allah redha. This sem I witnessed how MSA was almost buried and how it revived. Sesungguhnya pertolongan Allah itu dekat. I had never spoken and known so many people throughout my stay in DeKalb had it not been for MSA. I had never felt so insulted, pressured, challenged and appreciated working with people before. Allah, please3 redha and berkatilah MSA kami. Please let the new leadership prosper and take it to another level. Amin..

7. Mamat

Needless to say, 

…and so many more, to be honest. 


Do you have any comments, concerns or inquiries? Or else, just drop me a note to say hi! :)