February 2014 has been an exceptionally beautiful month so far- owing to the Winds of Change Tour which hit Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar. I tried to attend as many events as I could- each one seemed to be better than the previous. So, the past 3 weeks were mostly spent waiting for one event after the other! This was the first time I was attending the events of Winds of Change, and it was also the first time I was actually listening to some of the international speakers: Imran ibn Mansur, Hamza Tzortzis, Yusuf Chambers, John Fontain, Adnan Rashid and Musa Adnan.
As I smile to myself, sifting through the photos and cherishing the memories made, reality hits me like a ton of bricks: the Winds of Change are over, but has the change begun? Can I declare with Imran Khan’s confidence level that “Tabdeeli aa gy hai?” Will I be able to cherish the newly-planted intentions and sustain the newly-replenished Imaan level?
I have made notes upon notes of the lectures; I have saved video recordings, but I realize that it is actually the things which penetrate your being and engrave themselves on your heart that can actually change you. So for my own benefit and for that of the readers, I’m going to list in no particular order, the lessons that have stuck with me, which I heard, learnt and/or experienced during the Winds of Change events.
1- The Azaan is a beautiful call. Don’t take it for granted. Cherish it, listen and respond.
2- Whatever Da’wah work you are doing, you must read a minimum of 1 juzz of the Quran (with understanding) every day. Don’t let your Islamic work fool you or harm your spirituality.
3- There are no friends as awesome and cool as the ones you make for the sake of Allah.
4- You have to do Da’wah. You just have to. There is no other way around it.
5- Every person you meet has problems on their plate. Every person is fighting battles you know nothing of. Be gentle.
6- In matters of the Dunya, look towards those below you. In matters of the Deen, look towards those above you.
7- The battles you fight for Deen are worth it, in this word and the next. Taking U-turns is difficult, but it is possible and it is worth it. Ask for Allah’s help.
8- Don’t judge by appearances. There is so much goodness and softness in our people. Talk to them about the Deen. Empathize with them. You might be pleasantly surprised by the response.
9- Marriott has the best gulab jaman in Islamabad.
10- Learn the rational foundations of your Deen seriously. You are facing an ideological onslaught.
11- There is something heart-warming about a hall resounding with Takbeer. It makes the clap-clap-clap sound so abysmally pathetic.
12- No matter how bad your situation is, no matter how broken or messed-up you are, Allah can still fix you. There are examples all around you. Don’t give up. If you are alive, you have a chance.
13- Listening to music can facilitate Jinns entering your body. True Story.
14- Jannah is beautiful. Meeting Allah is the best moment of your life. It is worth it all.
15- Youth Club has the coolest badges in town.
16- Don’t mumble the Salam just to fulfill the routine obligation. It is a beautiful gift. Treat it that way. Give and receive it with love.
17- Words are just words. You can talk the talk all your life. Nothing will change until you walk the WOC walk.
18- Humility is a beautiful quality. It makes you dignified. Slash your ego. Take it easy. Learn from the beautiful life of the beautiful Messenger (sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
19- Tell your loved ones that you love them often.
20- Youth Club also has the coolest cupcakes in town. (I’m not being paid to write this, I swear!)
21- Allah is the Best of Planners. Trust Him.
22- Dua is such a powerful tool. Allah works miracles. Have faith in Him. Talk to Him as much as you can.
23- If you don’t pray the obligatory prayers, you seem to be on a one-way road to Hellfire. There’s no way to put this lightly. Start praying. Just do it!
24- Our ultimate quest in this world is happiness. Even if you have everything in the world, you will still not be happy unless you have a true connection with Allah. The void in the heart can only be filled by knowing and loving the Creator of the heart.
25- You have too many slave-masters- from your parents to your peers to the fashion industry. True liberation is only in accepting the honour of being a slave to Allah.