One of the most beautiful things I find about Islam is the ability to have a one on one relationship with God. We do not need someone to speak to Him on our behalf. Each one of us possesses the same privilege of reaching out to Him as we need. It is really a sacred relationship which no one else can barge in on.
At this moment each of us is looking ahead to better days, InshaAllah. We may be dreaming about finally landing that sweet consulting job. Or getting into that amazing law school. Or getting into ANY medical school. We are focused on looking ahead at our next achievement, our next goal. In this drive forward, it becomes easy for us to lose sight of our current blessings.
I sat, not believing what I saw or heard. Coming from UCLA, I thought I was the hot shot. That the other students here were just a formality. Yet time and time again, person after person, I was floored. Someone had a much better GPA, someone had more extra-curricular involvement, someone else had greater athletic ability — and some students had a winning combination of all three.
In this week’s edition of Real Talk, I will reflect on the pervasive act of judging others, something we struggle with constantly. No one is free of this sin. It is critical that we realize when we judge others, we are doing so in order to curb ourselves. Judging has a significant effect on the victims of the act.
Along with the Angry Birds games, there are also a plethora of Islam oriented apps. I’ve highlighted a few iPhone apps that I personally use which help keep me on track as a Muslim college student balancing social life and academics.
One of our biggest mistakes is assuming the worst of one another. We witness one small, random action and allow our minds to warp it into something entirely different. We develop an entire story line and come to conclusions, all based off of one small data point.
This recent trend of earlier opening hours, now termed the “Thanksgiving Creep”, should make all of us reflect on what this says about our values and priorities. As Thanksgiving Creep cuts its way through family dinners and gatherings, Thanksgiving no longer becomes about giving “thanks” or spending time with loved ones, it becomes first about hunting for the best deals of the holiday sales.
There was something special about the night my friend took her shahada (declaration of faith). I remember it was after praying ‘isha (the night prayer) when the imam announced the news to the congregation; I cried as the whole masjid erupted in takbeers (Allahu akbar) to praise Allah and welcome a new member to our community. That night, I felt the support of community. I felt peace from Allah.
On Friday, October 26, Muslims all over the world will be celebrating Eid al-Adha, which occurs in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar called Dhul-Hijjah. Eid al-Adha translates to “Festival of Sacrifice,” to which Muslims recall and commemorate the trials of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.). Eid al-Adha signals the ending of Hajj; a Muslim is obligated to take part in Hajj at least once in their life, provided that they are of able health and finance. The literal meaning of Hajj is – “to set out for a place.” In the Islamic context, it refers to the annual pilgrimage Muslims make to the holy city of Mecca to perform religious rites.
What’s a day in the life of a UCLA Muslim Bruin like? Check out this video on the truth about Sharia’h law made by fourth-year English major, Ranim Hijazi, fourth-year neuroscience and Arabic major, Tarik Takkesh, and third-year microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics major, Dania Takkesh.