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Welcome to the thoughts, rants and passions of a young Muslim woman seeking soulful enlightenment in cyberspace.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Missing IAW


Is it possible to miss an idea? Because I miss Islam Awareness Week, and it’s only just done with. But it was a spectacular success while it lasted. Yes, there were good lectures, and the food was delicious. But what amazed me most was the response to our displays at Sidney Smith Hall.

Because I learned something incredible. I learned that people are actually interested in Islam. As I stood at the MSA booth, students came by to ask questions – and I was floored by their respectful demeanour and their willingness to learn more. Countless students and faculty members perused our free material. And the amount of English translations of the Quran that people picked up was shocking. We emptied box after box – we must have given out hundreds of translations in the five days we were there. This showed me, more than anything else, that people really want to know what Muslims are all about. And it our fault for not sharing our understanding of Islam with others. We complain about the ignorance and the maligning of our faith, and yet people are genuinely interested in what we have to say.

One student came to the display table and he was just staring wide-eyed in a dazed manner. I was speaking to another student about polygamy, but when I was finished, I turned to him and asked if he needed anything. I could literally see him try to shake off the confusion. It took a while for him to find his voice. “This will sound ridiculous,” he said, “but there’s just this glow about you. I mean, I’ve heard of the Virgin Mary and how she looked so pure and holy, but I never really saw it a person before. It’s like faith is just embodying itself. It’s just…” He was at a loss for words. I was too. But he signed up for a free Quran because we had run out at the time.

I will miss IAW, but I will never forget those moments. Engaging in real discussion with students I’d never seen before. Answering questions I’d never heard before. And when there wasn’t any more time, giving students my email address for any further questions they might have. Being at that booth - seeing fellow students come by - renewed my faith in the goodness of humanity. And it reminded me that I too have a responsibility to try to understand others in the same way that they have sought to understand me.


Thank you to all the volunteers who made IAW possible. May God reward you for your efforts in this regard.

4 Comments:

  • At 3/20/2005 05:32:00 PM, Blogger Julaybib said…

    Salaams

    I know this is going to sound a bit pathetic, and I don't want to flatter you (coz I think that's maybe bad for the soul), but I wish I was as good a Muslim as you. Just getting my salah together so it was regular would be nice. Insha Allah.

    Wasalaam

    Yakoub

     
  • At 3/20/2005 07:03:00 PM, Blogger Yusuf Smith said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 3/20/2005 07:38:00 PM, Blogger cncz said…

    awww macha Allah I am a sucker for the "you look good in hijab, like you have a light or something" comments. it makes me all sappy. I love it when people say that. macha Allah again.

     
  • At 3/21/2005 04:39:00 PM, Blogger Safiyyah said…

    You folks are embarrassing me. I was just speaking about my own experiences, but I was one member of an amazing team, and it was that team that made IAW possible.

    As for the hijab bit, I think different people will see it in different ways. I was more stunned at that guy’s reaction than he was because I didn’t realize that it could make such an incredible impact on an individual. I don't think I'll ever forget the expression on his face. Priceless.

     

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