Salam. Now I wanna share with you guys about Being ME (Muslimah Empowered) Conference that took place on Saturday, 30th day of June the year of 2012. This franchise of sisters only event by Mercy Mission was the debut in Malaysia. It received such an overwhelming response that 2,000 sisters showed up and there were not enough seats. Thanks to capable hands and feet of the committee, things got handled smoothly. Alhamdulillah. Congrats and a round of applause...!
So, it was such a packed event altogether, with sisters and programs respectively. It was so obvious when you see the toilets and praying rooms flooded with sisters all over Matrade Exhibition Centre. I even decided to pray at a secluded corner nearby the toilet, where they stored loads of tables or something. A few sisters came and asked me how on earth I knew the qiblat direction? I smiled and showed them the above map from my beloved device. They followed suit afterwards, using the same hiding place of mine.
So, what's the program like?
|BEING ME (MUSLIMAH EMPOWERED)|
|MATRADE EXHIBITION AND CONVENTION CENTRE (MECC)|
|30TH JUNE 2012|
|10:00||10:15||Qur'an Recitation||Sharifah Kasif|
|10:15||10:30||Opening Performance||ADNI||Poem Monologue (Turning the Tide by Suma Din)|
|10:30||10:50||Welcome Speech||Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury||Welcome to BeingME|
|10:50||11:05||Welcome Speech||Yasmin Mogahed||Free From All Other Masters, Empowering Women|
|11:35||11:50||Session 2||Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim||Achieving Balance - Inside Out|
|12:20||12:35||Entertainment 1||Kamal Uddin|
|12:35||12:55||Entertainment 2||Muslimah Attire Show 1||Non-Mahram Segment|
|12:55||1:00||Dzuhr & Lunch Break|
|2:00||2:15||Session 3||Myriam Cerrah||The importance of role models – why do we need them?|
|2:45||3:00||Session 4||Dr.Fadila Grine||The Power of Change|
|3:30||3:45||Session 5||Dr.Halima Boukerroucha||Muslim Women and the Ummah; Reality and Challenges|
|4:15||4:30||Entertainment 3||Kamal Uddin|
|Madinah Centre Launching|
|5:00||5:15||Session 6||Myriam Cerrah||Do we need Islamic feminism?|
|5:45||6:00||Session 7||Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim||Inside Out - Nurturing our Soul|
|6:30||6:45||Session 8||Yasmin Mogahed||The Greatest Love of All : Do We Really Love Allah Most?|
|7:15||7:30||Maghrib & Dinner Break|
|8:00||8:15||Entertainment 4||Muslimah Attire Show 2||Mahram Segment|
|8:15||8:30||Session 9||Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury||Being an Exampilary Muslimah|
|9:00||9:15||Token of Appreciation to Speakers|
|10:00||10:30||Closing speech||Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury|
|10:30||10:45||Closing & Qur'an||Atikah Amin|
What a day it was, Subhanallah... I can never thank my sister enough for asking me to go to this conference along with her. Worth every breath that I took, every step that I made.
The beautiful Sharifah Khasif was first to take the stage as the 'entertainer', with her awesome voice and expertise in the Qur'an qiraat & tarannum.
|Among The Reasons I Decided To Attend Being ME ~ My Fav Qari'ah.|
The moment she started 'Bismillah...' I was already out of the main hall, so to speak. Something in her pretty face that choked me. She recited the verses of the Qur'an with heart, not only with awesome voice. As she went along, I just couldn't stop crying. She finished off with surah al-Ikhlaas, which was read in a few different tarannum styles. And little that I knew, the tears was in fact more to come throughout the day.
Sister Raya Shokatfard sent me down with fever when her tremendously emotional documentary of 'My Journey Back To Islam' was shown. I felt her. I loved her. And was happy for her and her son, for finally finding a place they loved to stay, Langkawi Island. A place I've always loved and frequently visited as well. She cried openly and so did I. My pink hijab was my tissue and towel.
Then Sister Yasmin Mogahed swept my feet away with her two speeches, where her second left me drained. The whole main hall was hypnotized, literally speaking. The Greatest Love of All - Do We Love Allah The Most?
Her words kept ringing at the back of my head:
~ Love is like a lawsuit. It requires evidence.
~ How to stay away from the harams and Allah's preserved? Through rectifying our hearts.
~ All that we can keep in the hands is a gift.
~ A gift is not one's air or life.
~ The problem begins when we keep the gifts in the heart and God in the hand.
~ It's easy to let go what we keep in the hands, but what we keep in the heart is something we can't live without.
~ The thing that we love most more than God is the one that kills us.
Dr. Fadila Grine took the stage with her speech 'The Power to Change'. It really hit me when she narrated a story about a woman who'd been threatened by her husband to make her life miserable and the brave woman said, "No. You cannot make me miserable. Happiness is in my heart, which is in the hands of Ar-Rahmah, to which you don't have an access".
So much so that this conference touched the deepest floor of my soul, I didn't have any desire to at least enjoy all those beautiful clothes the stalls had to offer outside the hall. But I enjoyed my time with my lil sister after almost a decade or so since our last quality time together. She loved this conference so much. Being someone who grew up most of her tender age in the UK, she always faced difficulties to adapt with most of the mainstream Muslim 'scholars' in Malaysia, no offence intended. I don't blame her, coz I share the same feelings, even though I've always been here. The approach DOES make major difference, actually. Hikmaah or Wisdom was one of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w)'s prophethood attributes, after all. When the approach is right, the message would be absorbed like a sponge.
Was I duly empowered? Well, I was darn inspired, that's crystal clear. Imaan has ups and downs, it's in the nature bestowed upon us for human is not like Angels. The name Insan (human) itself comes from the root word of Nasa-a (forgetful). Thus, we should always be constantly reminded. Same goes with me. Really look forward to attending this annual conference again and again. Insya Allahu Ta'ala.
That's all for now, folks. I know it's a long entry, but thanks for still being with me right up till the end. Love you for that. Until next time, Assalamu'alaikum.
Yours truly, TPJ.