Even on dull, dreary and cold winter days such as these, where a statement commonly heard is "Isn't it so depressing today?", our Usul-ud-Deen students find blessings everywhere. Such is the beauty of our Deen. Alhamdulillah.


It seems unfair and perhaps even unjust to merely describe a multifaceted, flavour-filled delicacy. Such an intricate interplay of seasonings and textures in each unique bite really needs to be tasted. Perhaps this is partly the reason why most of us are unable to articulate the effects of the many hours with which Allah has blessed us to spend in the presence of those who experience the manifested light of guidance. These are not only teachers but they are also individuals who have and continue to dedicate themselves to seeking and acting on prophetic counsels and Quranic guidance. May Allah make us from among them and close to them for His sake alone, ameen.

Nonetheless, there is a gem by which many of us can live by and savour. It starts with the notion of being a da'iee, that is, one who calls to the deen - that is, the Quran and authentic sunnah. First, we need to recognize that this is a fundamental part of being a Muslim. It is the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and it is our responsibility to continue it. We are only charged with the duty of making the call to guidance - not as a potential cause of it, but as a personal duty to ourselves and to our family of humanity. Guidance itself is a gift and it comes only from Allah as He wills.

Shaykh Majed Sabke reminded us of this duty and he advised us to take note of the addresses of Allah, translated as, "O you who believe.." ...يآ أيها الذين آمنوا This formula - a command - is found throughout the Quran and is completed with counsel on how to be of the "mu'mineen" (those who affirm tawhid in heart and actions) and not simply (though,too, profound) the "muslimeen" (those who submit).

He advised us each to take one such address, live by it, and call others to it. It goes without saying that we must understand it first and seek explanations if we don't lest we erroneously attribute meanings to it that are incorrect.

The potential rippling effects of such a simple and powerful practical act is truly incomprehensible, but the effects are hardly the point. The point, as I see it, is the sincere desire and effort to be better. As our teachers have all frequently reminded us: knowledge must be accompanied by sound actions.

رب انفعنا بما علمتنا
رب علمنا الذي ينفعنا


It is not about searching for the blessings in our lives, it's about being aware of the blessings right in front of you. And in that awareness you will find yourself in the awareness of Allah. The cup is half full? The cup is over flowing.... No there is no cup. Forget about the cup. There is only Allah.


She is such a beautiful soul, because she always manages to find the beauty in everything else


I was really excited about having pizza for dinner tonight, but I guess the ducks were as well!