Niche Hero Day 3 | Starting Again | Taking Action

Criticism

I wrote another post about criticism for Day 3 called Let’s Be Real about Our Difference but it may be too critical even for me so I will probably need to sleep on it before I return to edit and post it, insha’Allah.

Take Action on Your Idea, Today!

The day began with a challenge from Muhammad Alshareef to me to not let the day pass without taking action on my idea. I put out some feelers on Facebook and received positive and encouraging responses. Whether I will continue to take meaningful action or procrastinate on the other steps remains to be seen.

I’ve taken more than 30 AlMaghrib seminars, some more than once, and have learned from various other sources over the years. This year will mark my third consecutive year attending Ilm Summit, quite bummed to be missing the first day of Ilm Summit due to the Saturday overlap with Niche Hero. I’m scheduled to leave Toronto for Houston on the first flight out Sunday morning so hopefully will only miss a few hours on Sunday.

For the last two years, Niche Hero has overlapped by a day with Ilm Summit and I’ve wondered why that was the case. So I bounced that question off of Amirah, a Niche Hero graduate from last year and she broke it down for me in a nice and succinct manner. She just said, “Ify, how many people here are really going to attend Ilm Summit other than you?” And that was a perfect reminder that we as human beings find it difficult to look beyond our own circumstances because we filter everything through our own limited lens and frame of reference.

I often get asked to share what I’ve learned from these classes but haven’t yet found a vehicle to transmit the knowledge in an effective manner. I remember during the fiqh of salah seminar with Yaser Birjas, I found the section on the timings of prayer to be among the most difficult and abstract for me. It wasn’t until after I left the classroom and looked up into the darkening sky before isha that I began to understand the various opinions marking the end of maghrib or the beginning of isha. It wasn’t until one day at the beach, looking at the Atlantic Ocean that I figured out how to use the signs in nature to find the qibla and not rely helplessly on my iPhone or compass.

I find the fiqh of tahara to be an extremely dry topic, no pun intended, but remembering hiking the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls in Maryland reminds of the proof for those who say it’s permissible to eat the red bag of Doritos in contrast to those who say it’s impermissible. We learned a gem today from Yusuf al-Qaradawi who in response to those critical of his opinions makes dua to Allah by saying, “O Allah, do not deprive me of the reward of a mujtahid who makes a mistake.”

Everyone finds the traditional ways of open-ended learning to be painful especially if the instructor is ill-prepared or lacks a dynamic teaching style.

Two Blogs?

Taking a lesson from what we learned today, I’m going to merge my photoblog with this blog, which should prove easier to maintain, insha’Allah. An added benefit is that those posts and the larger effort behind them will bear my name. Why is that important? So that I don’t hide behind a username like I used to do here when I was known as Muslim Apple and also so that I hold myself accountable for the effort. Much harder to abandon a project bearing your own name than an anonymous effort.

The Globe and the Mail newspaper has shrunk

I grew up just across the southern border of Lake Ontario and back in my news-junkie days would often buy the Sunday Globe and Mail newspaper from the grocery store, which offered better international news coverage than my local paper. Outside of my hotel room, there was a courtesy paper and I immediately noticed how much smaller the paper was in terms of width and how much more vibrant to photographs are today. I asked a couple of people and they also confirmed that the paper had reduced its with.

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Author: Ify Okoye

Muslim woman, RN, & rebel with a cause.

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