Event Review: Being! Guidance from the Prophet (S) on The Meaning of Life
What: Being! Guidance from the Prophet(S) on the Meaning of Life
Where: Al-Markaz 58 Bussorah St 199474
Who: Brother Muhsin Hamzah
When: 3 February 2013
The first thing that came to mind when I read the title of this event was, “This is going to be pretty deep and interesting”. It certainly was. After going through a 4-hour interactive session with Brother Muhsin Hamzah, I would describe it as a spiritually and intellectually provoking session and one that invoked much self-reflection even after it has ended. “Being! Guidance from the Prophet(S) on The Meaning of Life” is the first workshop of 10 workshop series intended for a servant to realize his fullest potential through the teachings of Prophet Muhammad(S).
Brother Muhsin attributed the inspiration for this series of workshop to the works of prominent Islamic figures like Imam al-Ghazali. The design of the workshop began in Turkey, where he lived in for 9 months.
It was enlightening to hear of brother Muhsin’s explanation on why the workshop was named “Being!” in the first place. “Being” itself when translated to Arabic simply means “wujud”. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary online, being is defined as “the quality or state of having existence”. Being or wujud is also the first of the 20 traits of Allah SWT.
Alhamdulillah, we know and believe that Allah SWT is our Creator but have we ever wondered what is Allah’s INTENTION of creating us in the first place? Why did He create you and me?
Allah SWT says in the Quran, “I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me. (Ad-Dhariyat: 56)
By serving, the meaning extends to beyond just performing obligatory acts like the five daily prayers, fasting and reading the Quran. It also means to centre our intention of what we do, say, choose etc. as a means of seeking His Pleasure.
Some of us would perhaps have foregone a time when we would pause and really think about our lives and the true meaning of it given how busy we are. I would like to pose some of the questions that were asked to us by Brother Muhsin to all of us.
• Why am I here?
• When was the first time that it seriously occurred to me that Allah SWT exists?
• Am I prepared for death and to face Allah SWT and the Prophet(S) at any time?
Let’s bring these questions to our attention and give it some thought. As Muslims, these questions are especially pertinent to our ephemeral journey in this life.
There was barely a dull moment in the workshop as brother Muhsin engaged us with his knowledge and wisdom behind the significance of intention and how that intention is the light (Nur) that can equip a seeker to the path of Allah SWT to realize the bond that he or she already has with Allah SWT and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad(S). A seeker should strive to realize this connection through the intention of embarking on the path of purification and realization.
Another important question to ask ourselves after answering the questions above is whether or not our actions are aligned with our intention.
Brother Muhsin believes in creating a sacred space for ourselves with regards to the bond between us and Allah SWT and His Messenger(S) by that meaning, a space for ourselves and our intention to go through works like cleansing, renewing and also manifesting into actions. This is also why his belief translated into a small group setting of 15 people or “seekers” to attend his workshops so there would be sufficient room for interaction and sharing of thoughts and experiences by fellow seekers in the path towards Allah SWT.
The amazing thing about intention is that through it, we can see the mercy of Allah SWT. Why?[box_light]Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
The Prophet (S) narrating about his Lord I’m and said, “Allah ordered (the appointed angels over you) that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed (the way) how (to write). If somebody intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed (in his account with Him); and if he intends to do a good deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him (in his account) with Him (its reward equal) from ten to seven hundred times to many more times: and if somebody intended to do a bad deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write a full good deed (in his account) with Him, and if he intended to do it (a bad deed) and actually did it, then Allah will write one bad deed (in his account) .”
What after intention? It is to follow the Path of Mercy.
That is to tread the path of the Prophet Muhammad (S) by striving to follow his (S) actions, sayings and advices at all times as Prophet Muhammad (S) is the Mercy for mankind.
Now we may have the intention but so much can hinder it from being manifested into actions. It is to our own judgment why we are yet unable to do so. Some of the reasons are, “It is not the time yet”, “What would I profit out of this?”, “We are always seeking worldly rewards for our ibadah(worship)” and “We lost our sense of gratitude”. It is crucial for us to identify these roadblocks so that inshaAllah, we can re-align our intention to the intention that He created us for.
An interesting point I also learnt was on the part where our intention, besides the necessity for it to be renewed and checked often, there are also several factors that can feed on it too. These are:
• Seeking knowledge
• Following the sunnah of the Prophet (S)
• Worship with sincerity (Ibadah)
• Battling the lower desires (nafs)
• Gratitude (Shukr) in all situations towards Allah SWT and the Prophet (S)
• Proper etiquettes towards Allah SWT, Prophet (S) and all around us
Soon enough, bi idhnillah, the true intention of a seeker will shape and mould the seeker and thus the seeker will have his/her true identity. This identity will be what that drives a seeker to practise piety and emulate the attributes of the Prophet (S) in a society which has lost its culture and heritage.
Brother Muhsin emphasized on how this journey that a seeker would like to undertake, is a journey that requires aplenty of time and patience. Yet this is the journey that no other person can do for a seeker except that he does it for and goes through it himself.
From a sister, “Really engaging, it allows you to take a step back and ask yourself- What is your intention? What is His intention? Why are you here? Who is the Prophet(S)? How do we connect to Allah and His Rasul? Blessed event, beautiful journey.”
Salbiah, 30s, Freelancer, added, “It is informative in the way of learning through traditional sources. It is also interactive. The class was very fantastic”.
Overall, I felt that the workshop succeeded in making us understand the concept of the true meaning of life. The tools shared on how to undertake the path to Allah SWT were practical and beneficial. I believe it would have been a more engaging and interactive session if we had more participants or “seekers”.
Muhsin Hamzah, born and raised in Singapore, is a Sufi aspirant and motivator interested in nurturing fellow seekers on the journey towards Allah and His Prophet Muhammad(S). He completed his Diploma in Islamic Studies at the International Islamic University of Malaysia. While doing so, he has actively volunteered and assisted his Islamic teachers teaching traditional texts and fellow comrades in organizing conferences for the Islamic faith communities.[/box_dark] [divider]
Nur Rosyiidah aspires to be a catalyst for positive change through her writings. She also believes in seeing goodness and practicing gratitude in embracing this life.