Yesterday I attended a lecture given by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf (SHY), an American Islamic scholar, and deemed one of the most renowned Muslim thinkers in the Western world. He is the author of Purification of the heart.
My best friend told me about this event and really, made sure I did not miss the opportunity. We both attended and as nerdy students of life as we are, we both took notes. When you have an opportunity to listen live to a prominent thinker, you don’t want to let the wisdom pass by.
The event was titled “An Evening with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf: Where is Your Heart? A Prophetic Guidance in an Age of Confusion”. SHY addressed the fundamental problem facing Muslims in modern society today and coupled it with encouraging reminders to get through such “turbulent” times.
There were many tear-jerking moments, mainly because SHY has an ability to transcend your heart with the purity and calmness of his words.
Here are the main takeaways:
I was telling my Bestie how I noticed that this blogpost had been getting a lot of views lately. It must be because of its relevancy of topic.
Bestie: It is a good post! I was discussing it with my cousin, too. I said celebs shouldn’t be blinded by both praise or criticism on social media because neither paints the full picture.
But then Sya, these influencers revolve their whole career on their popularity. No wonder they react so drastically when people aren’t head over heels over them.
Popularity is an illusion.
…continued from Part 1.
The official Iranian currency is the Iranian Rial.
However locals and merchants throughout the country still widely cite ‘Toman’ (previous official currency) when transacting. Though they will still tell you the price in Rial if you ask.
RM 1 (One Malaysia Ringgit) = IRR 10,039.52 (10 thousand Rial)
To convert to Toman, simply remove one 0 from the Rial e.g 10,000 rial is 1000 toman.
vice versa, to know what the price is in Rial, simply add a 0.
Alternatively the Euro is also accepted in some touristy places around the country, though I suggest you stick to using their local money for ease of transaction.
Are things cheap in Iran? From my currency to theirs, no it’s not. In fact things are rather expensive.
I am the kind of traveller whose experience of a country tends to be impacted by my visit to the public restrooms (weirdly enough yes). If it’s unpleasant, it would most probably make me reluctant to go, which isn’t good for me in cases of long travels. In such event I’d resort to a proper place like the shopping mall.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in my trip as we had long bus rides and would stop at gas stations and even random rundown R&R areas for toilet breaks. I would always hesitate a bit. But what did I come to find? Public toilets throughout the country are clean. And not that wet. Even though the toilet was provided with a water pipe, it was relatively dry. I was actually impressed. This may seem trivial but elevating the comfort of any tourist in a country is appreciated.
I went to Iran recently together with my parents on an organised 8 day 6 night trip. I had no idea what to expect before going. While there may be many Iranians residing in Malaysia, it doesn’t tell me much about how their home country is like. And while I may have lived in a country such as Saudi Arabia, I was not sure what it would be like to step into another Islamic country. Here’s my take by category.
We went in the second week of November and the weather was perfect. Temperatures ranged between 17 degrees celcius during the day to 5 degrees at night/early morning. It was super pleasant, save for the first day where it rained. Otherwise, it was sunny for the most part. It made for beautiful and bright pictures.
إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
My uncle passed away 2 nights ago. I still remember the family sitting down at the dining table having dinner but discussing his health condition which was critical at that moment. Thanks to family group chats we were constantly being updated. But just half and hour into dinner, the text messages were becoming more rampant. My aunt (his wife) was asking my parents to come to the hospital quickly which they were going to after dinner. But shortly after, he took his last breath. And therefore my parents were too late to see him before he passed away. Such is the concept of time, you could never tell if you’ll have enough and therefore it is a gamble life forces you to take.
Gratitude is a wonderful virtue. It’s that virtue your parents always teach you to show, your experiences teach you not to neglect and religion wise (Islam for me), encourages me to incorporate as a way of life.
The latter struck me hard when I came across this video by Nouman Ali Khan, one of my favourite western Muslim scholars (another is Suhaib Webb). The video below is part of a series called Quranic Gems which I really enjoyed watching because Nouman basically takes short verses of a surah and discusses the meaning of it, conveying the message in a relatable everyday manner.
This episode he discusses Surah Ibrahim, Verse 7 [14:7] on gratitude and the message that this verse basically imparts is this:
If you are grateful in general (not limited to Allah himself, but to those around you), He will increase you (in whatever favour)
Grateful is an attitude, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a way of thinking.
What a beautiful verse, part of an even greater surah. Here’s to never neglecting our sense of gratitude :)