What follows are brief notes from a class with Ustadha Umm Abdullah Hayel (May Allah protect and preserve her and her family).

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our Master Muhammad and upon his family and companions.

I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He.

We have to understand ourselves in the scheme of the world. “Know thyself to know thy Lord.” We are like the animal world but have a higher spiritual energy. This is the intellect. Poetry, art, and many beautiful things can come from it. Imam Ghazali says, “The more we fill the angelic realm, the more we rise such that our need is less to feed our base desires.” He also says, “Take care of your soul because it is your soul that makes you human, not your body.”

We reflect because if you understand your place in the world then you know how to react. We do not value the planet but value the 5p because we do not understand the greater scheme.

What makes the human being dominate if he is weak and pathetic? The intellect. It is a God-given gift. It is not to subjugate but to assist one another to be in the servitude of God.

“Don’t imbalance the scales.” – Qur’an

Faith is not a scarf. Faith is not the prayer. Faith is not fasting. Faith is not zakah. Faith is not the pilgrimage. Faith is the connection which allows you to perform great things like fasting, praying, giving zakah, and heading for the pilgrimage.

Reflection helps us to understand that we have a connection with God. When you have God, you can get through a lot. The soul is nourished through contemplation; thinking about God.

When you flow with something naturally, it is easy. But, if you’re fighting with the waves, it is obviously going to be difficult.

This is a faith in which you should be proactive. It is like we are being ‘abused’ and we do not reflect on this because everything that is happening around us is the norm. Everyone has been duped by this lifestyle. We live in a crazy time. Does the human always have to be on display? Can we not have time to just be ourselves?

God has made the smile so easy such that it takes less muscles to smile in comparison to frowning. Everything has been done with wisdom.

You can be on the same street as someone; one in the car and another walking in the world. Yet, you’re both in different paradigms and different sensorial experiences. One is in warmth and sheltered in the car, yet the other could be freezing without immediate shelter.

It is a great tragedy that we all sense the problem but do not feel the need to do anything. It is time to reflect. There will never be a time where you feel that you are ready to reflect. We do not study for a profession but to be illumined so we know our place in the world and become good custodians of the earth. The human being is very weak and we need each other to be strong. We do not have friends who embrace us for us. Faith allows for this. We deal with each other on the same platform of humanity. This is a very special thing.

We ask Allah to allow us to rise above the levels of concern of ourselves. Let not this gathering or any be just gatherings but moments of life where we are reminded of what we need; see beyond. Allow your vision to expand.

Allahumma Amin

Any mistakes, errors or misinterpretations of words are from me. Please correct me when you spot any mistakes.

JazakumAllahu Khayran to the University of Bradford girls that we benefit from weekly and who are the reason behind this post. May Allah reward them well.