Things here in Johannesburg finally seem to be getting back to normal. There were many holidays that have just passed. April is usually a month of holidays; with the Easter weekend, and 27th April Public Holiday in South Africa known as Freedom Day, to commemorate the 1st ever Democratic Voting Day for all citizens of all races in this country, which took place in 1994, we usually get many days off in April. Then shortly after that it’s a public holiday for the 1st May, and South Africa has a system whereby if a Public Holiday happens to fall on a Sunday, then the Monday becomes the holiday since Sunday is already supposed to be a holiday. I have no idea who thought that up, but the people are not complaining, why would we when we get extra holidays, right?
Anyway, now that things are seemingly reaching normality, it’s time for us to begin again with our weekly workshops for women. Usually we deal with topics like “Parenting Skills”; “Marriage”; “Self-Reformation”, etc. Topics that are general and not purely Islamic in nature. The way it works is that we divide our session into two parts, before tea and after tea. In one part we present the Islamic perspective of the topic, and in the other part we present the Psychological and Social Perspective of the same topic. I think it works really well, Alhamdullillah!
Well, this time we decided to do something completely different, so we ended up choosing topics on Imaan, Sabr (Patience) and Shukr (Gratitude). I think this is when Shaytaan began his whisperings. When we sat in our first meeting deciding what we were going to present I looked at the topics and thought to myself, ‘There’s no way we’re going to have anything to present from a Psychological and Social Perspective’, and since this is usually the area in which I have more knowledge (not a lot of knowledge, but I guess it’s better than nothing), I began feeling a bit lost. I really felt that there was not much that I could contribute to this particular workshop and was even wondering if they needed me for this one at all. I didn’t recognize this as the whisperings of shaytaan until last week when we had another meeting.
One of the other facilitators mentioned that she had a moment where she was about to call us all and suggest that we cancel this workshop because it was almost time to start and she had nothing prepared at all. Alhamdullillah, through her wisdom and strength she was able to recognize this as the whisperings of shaytaan and that made her stronger in her resolve to continue. While we were discussing this it dawned upon us that this workshop is different to our others because of the content, and inshaa-Allah the topics we’ve chosen (with the guidance of Almighty Allah) will help to bring people closer to Allah (swt) and so this would be a very good reason for shaytaan to make extra attempts to alter our minds and even try and steer us towards not having the workshop at all.
Alhamdullillah, we have now made up our minds to turn to Allah and continue this workshop. From my part I have to say that after feeling so lost I decided to ask Allah for help and soon after that the ideas began flowing in my mind and it became so easy for me to prepare our presentations. Seriously, it was like things to talk about suddenly appeared in my mind from nowhere and I was actually excited to prepare. My fellow facilitators had similar experiences. Although they had nothing prepared, somehow the information just came to them. For instance, one of the lady's sister sent some books with her to pass on to her daugter-in-law. When she looked at the books her sister had sent she found that it had a lot of information pertaining to this workshop. Then when she went through all her previously researched material, she found further information. This is the same lady who wanted to cancel the workshop because she thought she had nothing prepared, and now she has so much information she doesn't know if there'll be time to present it all.
SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah). It's absolutely amazing how things work out when you turn to Allah!
Inshaa- Allah we will be starting our first session this coming Wednesday and I pray to Allah that it all goes well and that Allah accepts our efforts (which are only minor) and that Allah helps us to gain knowledge and understanding that will bring us closer to Him through this and of course I cannot forget to pray that Allah Almighty protects us all from the sneaky whisperings of shaytaan, which are so subtle that many times we are not even able to recognize it.
Allah says; whose meaning is:
"Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of mankind,
he King of mankind,
the God of mankind,
from the evil of the insidious whisperer
who whispers in people’s breasts
and comes from the jinn and mankind."
(Holy Qur'aan- Sur'ah Naas (Mankind)-Chapter 114: Verse 1-6)
Image taken from: http://www.moonmaiden-gothic-clothing.co.uk/moonmaiden-whisperings.htm