“The Lunar-Dharmacakra Mixer.” This phrase emerged into my mind when I first heard about the upcoming Muslim-Buddhist Mixer from the Dawah (formally known as “Muslim Union”) subgroup of UCLA’s Muslim Students Association.
“Lunar” referred to the moon or the pseudo-symbol of Islam adopted since the reign of the Ottoman Empire. From my prior knowledge of Buddhism, I knew that the “Dharmacakra” was the wheel with eight spokes, and also one of the central symbols of Buddhism.
I had initially visualized the Mixer as some type of Dharmacakra emitting moonlight, and was looking forward to attending in order to speak about my own faith while learning more about another. However…
…I had made a near-fatal error. While the timing for the Lunar-Dharmacakra to spin would be precisely at 5 PM, I had miscalculated and instead arrived near an hour late at 6 PM. My delay had caused a slightly unfortunate downside.
The “Lunar-Dharmacakra” Mixer was planned to spin both ways clockwise and counter-clockwise. However, they had already spun clockwise, and it was now time to spin counter-clockwise. Instead of learning more about Buddhism, my plans changed, and I ended up speaking as much as I could about my own faith in order to make up for the delay.
However, mixing and spinning in only one direction was satisfying nonetheless. While I had some “experience” in dawah on the electronic ocean of the Internet, this time I was speaking live to people without any veil of anonymity.
Whether it was the concept of Tawheed (Unity of God), the five pillars of Islam, lowering thy gaze, or reciting the Ayah Al Kursi, not only was I conveying shards of knowledge to someone else, but I felt the shards within myself resonating and reminding of what I already knew and learned.
From this “Lunar-Dharmacakra” Mixer, I learned one very important lesson: Giving dawah is not only a process of teaching others, but it is also a process of reminding yourself of what you already know. It is a process of rekindling knowledge’s flame inside, while letting its sparks fly off outside.
Creative name you gave to this event! I also like the ending a lot. It’s really interesting and beautiful observing the benefits of dawah on the person *giving* dawah.
I personally learned a lot about my own Islamic faith from you all at this mixer. keep it up Muslim union!
I like how Nafees’s nickname also works as a pen name 🙂 Good job~
Great reflection Nafees! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Loved reading this! Thanks Nafees 🙂
That sounds really interesting. Buddhism is a great religion to learn about. I went to a Buddhist event a long time ago in LA, and Buddhists seem to mesh really well with people of other faiths. I could imagine a Buddhist/Muslim event having been a lot of fun. Especially because I’ve noticed Buddhists tend to have a good amount of knowledge of other faiths, so it’s a different kind of dawah than with your average Christian.
I love the last line: “It is a process of rekindling knowledge’s flame inside, while letting its sparks fly off outside.”
Truly summarizes the experience I felt during the mixer! It gives us a sense of empowerment and camaraderie when we embrace our faith to educate others and learn from them as well.
MashAllah JazakAllah khair Nafees!!! I agree with you in that giving dawah is not so much just about relaying knowledge you have, but serves more as a reminder for yourself and firmly reestablishes your faith in the beauty of Islam. 🙂